'I Am' Poem Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The 'I Am' poem is an effective way to introduce students to poetry and encourage self-reflection through writing. With this lesson plan, your students will learn about poetry before writing their 'I Am' poems.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish poetry from other forms of writing by structure and objective
  • Start analyzing works of poetry for meaning
  • Use poetry as a vehicle for self-exploration


  • 90-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.


Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.


Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience


  • Copies of lesson quiz
  • A segment of Shel Silverstein's ''Where the Sidewalk Ends'' to project on the screen
  • ''Knoxville, Tennessee'' by Nikki Giovanni to project on the screen
  • Copies of the ''I Am'' poem worksheet
  • Relaxing music (optional)

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