1. We VTS the piece – Whore in the Church House
2. Ice Breaker - A tactile yarn exercise to get ready to write - How do you describe where you're from?
(the 4 of us go first and could use 4 different examples of how we identify ourselves)
Each writer shares an example of how the identify themselves while holding the yarn - this can be an intersection either geographically or culturally.
After they share, they toss the yarn to someone else in the group while still holding on to a piece of the yarn.
As this process progresses, the yarn creates a web of intersections.
This becomes reflective of the group and the experience.
Read selected poem - This poem could work as a guide for the student's writing.
Conversations about home (at a deportation centre)
A poem by Warsan Shire
Well, I think home spat me out, the blackouts and curfews like tongue against loose tooth. God, do you know how difficult it is, to talk about the day your own city dragged you by the hair, past the old prison, past the school gates, past the burning torsos erected on poles like flags? When I meet others like me I recognize the longing, the missing, the memory of ash on their faces. No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. I've been carrying the old anthem in my mouth for so long that there’s no space for another song, another tongue or another language. I know a shame that shrouds, totally engulfs. I tore up and ate my own passport in an airport hotel. I’m bloated with language I can't afford to forget.
* Pre-write. Students create a list of things that they feel reflect/identify themselves (questions of gender/race/culture positioning).
The list can be mapped out with a short drawing or sketch.
1.What is on a map, what things are on/in a place? Street, roads, cross-streets, signs, lights, landmarks. If your body was a map, what would the scars/birthmarks/freckles/bones/eye color.....
2.How are those things linked to your identity?
3.If you were a map, what would your shape be like? Why? What would surround your borders?
4.Who is welcome there? Why?
*Move into the the writing exercise. Students can use their lists, pre-write, and map to create a poem about cultural identity/geographical positions....
Discussion questions/prompts for writing
- Where are you? (within the map of intersecting cultures)
- How do the intersections and pathways affect how we see ourselves/others?
- How do they connect and/or divide our vision of self? In what ways is this good/bad?
- How concrete is your culture alone in terms of the map and intersections?
- At what point on the map can you really pinpoint yourself? Your identity?
- Do you believe this is telling of cultural identity and how you view yourself?
- How are we reflected in the layers and crossings as new pathways are forged?