Teacher resources » I am Poems

I am Poems



This lesson was contributed by Jessica Pack and Georgia Terlaje. If you'd like to learn more about their work please see the resources at the bottom of this activity plan! 

Digital storytelling  is a powerful way to show and provide context for our lived experiences. Everyone has a different view, a different place and a different story. In this activity, students create I am Poems about a person, place, or abstract concept to illustrate their understanding of perspective. 

I am Poems are an empathetic approach to making a students thinking and understanding visible and allows for storytelling to become integrated across the curriculum. I am Poems can be used to show a students deep understanding of a character from a book, a person from history, or even a concept in science. 

Keywords: Reading, Language Arts, Digital Storytelling

Good for: Individual work, collaboration, expression

Grade level: K-8

Skill level: Beginner


Student Instructions

Copy and paste the information below directly into the description box when creating your student assignment, or, use it as inspiration to make your own!

In order to successfully complete this assignment, make sure you have written your I am Poem using the instructional guide that has been assigned to you. 

Once you are ready, jump into this assignment and begin building your video. Follow these steps to create your I am Poem:

1. Search for stock media that represents the person, place, or thing you are sharing with us. Make sure the images or footage you find represent your word choice in the poem.

2. Record you voice. Read back your poem and record it. Then, put that track into your timeline.

3. Arrange your media - trimming or extending your clips - so that it lines up with the voice recording of your poem. 

4. Add titles and credits to the beginning and ending of your video. 

5. Find an audio track that goes along with the theme of your poem. Make sure you adjust the levels of the audio track so that it provides background music and is not louder than your voice recording. 

6. When you are finished, submit your video! 

Lesson planning support

Tips to help your instruction in this activity or help to get you started!

  • You can apply this activity to any context or subject matter area. To get started, have your students use this instructional frame to guide their thinking about turning a concept, place, or person into a story. I am Poem Instructional Frame

  • This activity is great for starting a conversation about empathy. Use perspective taking as a guide to frame this work

  • Students only need to use stock media, some motion or static titles, and a narration track using the voice record feature. 

  • You can add music underneath the narration to create a more immersive video experience. 


Technical Skills

Students will...

Academic Skills

Students will…

21st Century Skills

Students will…

  • Engage with the video editing process at an advanced level

  • Use multiple editing features 

  • Combine text, audio, images, and voice recording

  • Practice searching for media from the stock library

  • Write narratives to develop real, lived experiences using effective techniques, details, and structured event sequences

  • Use technology to produce and publish writing

  • Use their creativity to produce a narrative in multiple modalities (i.e. written text, visual images, sounds/audio) by engaging with technology

  • Develop critical analysis of their own lived experiences and the experiences of others.

English/Language arts: Digital storytelling through poetry can be taught across grade levels and age segments and meets many of the common core anchor standards in language arts. Students are often taught how to develop stories founded in real events through the production of short stories, opinion pieces, or essays. Any of these kinds of projects can be transformed into a video poetry project that offers personal authorship, deeper connections to the writing process, and elevated voice for students while fostering empathy and perspective taking.

Science: NGSS promotes the ideas of cross cutting concepts and storytelling in the sciences. Use this I am Poem project to have students take the perspective of a science concept or natural phenomena to illustrate their understanding and make their thinking visible. 

Reflection: Stories based on real life offer moments of reflection about our lived experiences. Building reflective experiences into the curriculum is a proven way for students to become more involved in meaning making experiences through classroom activities.