Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story, "Where I'm From"
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story and prepare to share it with the group.
- Read the discussion questions. Choose those that will best help the children share their interpretations of the story and relate the story to their own lives.
Description of Activity
Read or tell the story to the group.
After the story, invite the group to be silent for a moment to think about the story.
Then, ask participants to recap the story in their own words. What they recall indicates what they found most meaningful or memorable.
You might say:
The story of this poem is not only a story about grounding-knowing where you are from-it is also a story about connection. The poem comes out of the connection between the people that Jo Carson listened to and the poems she wrote, and the connection between Jo Carson and George Ella Lyons, and the connection all these people felt to their families, their ancestors, and the places where they grew up.
Lead a discussion using these questions:
- How much do you think the place where you are being raised shapes who you are? Why?
- Are there places your family has been connected to over generations?
- Does your family have any rituals or traditions, such as ways of celebrating holidays, that have gone on for many years?
- Do you know any family stories that go back to when your grandparents were young (or earlier)?
- What is something you have learned from a grandparent or another older relative?
Including All Participants
Some children may know a lot about their family's heritage, while others may have little information. Some may be easily able to create a floor plan of their current living space, while others may have difficulty-perhaps they have not lived in their current home very long; perhaps visualizing and sketching a living space as a floor plan is difficult for them. Be sure to use language that includes all participants, particularly any who may be adopted or living with a foster family. Offer one-on-one help, as needed.