What is an i am Poem and how can it be used in the Classroom

What is an “I am poem? This type of poetry is both structured and free. A poem of this type follows this structure:

I Am

I am (two special characteristics)
I wonder (something you are actually curious about)
I hear (an imaginary sound)
I see (an imaginary sight)
I want (an actual desire)
I am (the first line of the poem restated)

I pretend (something you actually pretend to do)
I feel (a feeling about something imaginary)
I touch (an imaginary touch)
I worry (something that really bothers you)
I cry (something that makes you very sad)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

I understand (something you know is true)
I say (something you believe in)
I dream (something you actually dream about)
I try (something you really make an effort about)
I hope (something you actually hope for)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

The writer fills the parenthesis in with words to match their own personality. Why would you want to use this in your classroom? It’s very simple. It can encourage writing and poetry in a variety of way. This kind of poem let’s children fill in the blanks themselves. It allows them to be expressive of their inner feelings. Yet at the same time it takes away that element of fear that most of us get when sharing something personal, like poetry. When we simply write a poem we tend to be afraid to share it. What if someone laughs at us? What if they disagree with our views? This would be a rejection of our very emotions. But this way we are shown we can be expressive without fear because everyone else has the same kind of poem. This small step can help a children begin to branch out and learn poetry without the fear of criticism.

Here is an example of an “I am” poem that I created using an online “I am” poem generator:

I Am

I am wandering and thoughtful
I wonder where I’m headed
I hear the future calling
I see my life flashing before me
I want to be loved
I am wandering and thoughtful

I pretend I’m alright
I feel like the world is crumbling
I touch the wind
I worry that the good will slip away
I cry for those lost
I am wandering and thoughtful

I understand true love
I say I need you
I dream of reaching my goals
I try not to stumble
I hope you’ll find me someday
I am wandering and thoughtful.

Try one of your own; they’re a lot more fun then you would first think!