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Student Samples derived from Where I’m From Mentor Text Selections from Poets: Willie Perdermo & George Ella Lyon Where I’m From


By R.A. Where I’m from is an apartment that’s like a forest From raccoons, owls, cats and opossums to ravens. I’m from sharing a room with my little sister that makes me mad And a mother and grandmother that share too. I used to live in a better home with a good friend across the way but That was when I used to have a better life. I’m going through a bad time right now and although they keep saying That things have to get worse before they get better- I’m not sure I believe them. I’m from a hard time with my mom and her new boyfriend. A time where my dad just got locked up for something he says he didn’t do And now I’m ordered to stay 300 hundred feet away from him. Where I’m from they don’t let me talk to him and my mom swears I’ll never Go see him as long as he is in jail. That’s no place for a kid to go, she says. Where I’m from I’ve learned that life isn’t always the best one given to you. Most of my life has been negative anyways so it kinda makes sense that The best thing in my life is locked up in jail now. Where I’m from I’d give anything to talk to my dad again. Where I’m from I wish they’d answer me when I ask what he did that was so bad instead of ignore me. Right now I guess it isn’t much but this is where I’m from.


Where I’m From By A.L. Where I’m from is Los Angeles and NOT San Diego! I’m from the Backstreet homes where people Shot at our house and where the police found guns on the roof. Those guns were my cousin, DeVon Who got stabbed in front of me and my little sister And bled all over the floor. I’m from friends crying and people hustling for money. My cousin was shot in the chest six times because the money wasn’t Where it was supposed to be. Where I’m from my dad is dead. I’m from a family that would hide guns in my room under the Pile of clothes on the floor when the police would search through the house. I’m from a place where you are told to leave things where you found them. I’m from a home where my mom beat up my older sister all the time Until it was so bad that she had an asthma attack. When we rushed her to the hospital they decided that night that We couldn’t go back to our home anymore. I’m from a Los Angles where my mom was locked up in jail For eight years and just got out to meet us in San Diego. I’m from Tish who brought me and Makayla to San Diego to liveWhich is ok but not home to me. I’m from a school that is nice now and they really try to teach us. Here they were proper clothes, no high heels and where you aren’t allowed to hit the teachers or cuss them out like at 116th street. Where I’m from is NOT San Diego. I’m from Los Angeles and I hope that one day I get to live with my mom and they let us try to be a family again.

Where I’m From


By A.T. I’m from diapers to potty training From jazz to hip hop And always fighting with my mom’s new sister for me from the foster care. I’m from living in a car To living in my cousin’s house Looking for a place of our own And back to a car again. I’m not sure how long we have to stay out this time. Where I’m from is my mom and dad fussing all the time And being safer at my Grama’s house. From Grama’s good smelling kitchen where she teaches me to bake cornbread and my mama’s chicken. I’m from being frustrated with my mom for not staying home with me And always being out. I’m from being angry that she thinks its ok to leave me when I need her the most. I’m from being worried about her when I’m not living with her because she goes and cuts her hair and gets new clothes and I’m not sure what it means. I’m from tv and ipods, Twilight books and a Disney contract for acting that we are still trying to finish up. I’m from trying to figure out what I can to do next about my family when I am so frustrated that I am still just a kid.

Where I’m From


By D.H. I’m from plants in the front yard And school buses coming around every morning When I get into the car. I’m from always being sad at being left for so long at Primetime. I’m from always going home thinking about my secret crush at school (that’s not so secret anymore). I’m from being told I’m adopted but yet I’m just glad that I at least have a family to love me. I’m from a mom who seems like she is always mad and yells at me and whoops me even though she says it hurts her more than meand if that’s true why does she laugh about it and leave marks? And people would always say its only cause she loves me and that I can be very difficult to handle some days. Where I’m from I believe these people because not only Am I blessed that my mom does love me And does her best to make a life for me with our little moneyI know that I make it real hard for people to be patient with me. Where I’m from my mom once told me that I had a brother and a sister but that she didn’t have enough money at the time to take us all at onceand when she worked really hard to save up the money she tried to go back…. but they were gone. Where I’m from maybe I’ll be able to find them again some day.

Where I’m From


By M.G. I am from Art. Art helps me to stay not bored and helps me to soar Out of a place where I am not happy. I’m from paint, color markers, crayons and listening to music to try to help make me feel happy again. My mom used to call me her art child when she was alive. I loved that name because I used to make her stuff. Where I’m from I wish that she was still alive and that I could Tell her that I loved her with all my heart. I’m from living with my Grandma cuz my mom lost us all in the system. I’m from losing my big sister because she came home one day dressed in clothing that wasn’t ok for a girl in middle school to be wearing. My Grandma says that nobody is allowed to wear high heels until they are grown unless they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing already. I’m from a teacher who has never seen my art because I still haven’t brought it in to school to show her. But I will one day. I am from art.

Where I’m From


By D.H. I am half from southeast San Diego and half from Jamaica. I’m from people in my family visiting us in San Diego sometimes And bringing me stuff from Jamaica. I’m supposed to spend this summer there with my dad but I’m Not sure yet if they are going to let me go. I’m from a family that is mean. I try not to do the bad stuff my family does but I have a hard time at it. I’m from missing my brother who was shot in Jamaica and my dad who Isn’t here to take care of the rest of us brothers. I’m from a mom who works in the prisons and is always too tired when she gets home. I’m from a good grandma that tries to take care of us And I know I am her favorite one. I’m from a lovely teacher named Ms. Kane who spends all her time making sure that my life is good and that I am ok. I wish that all the teachers came out like this. It would make school a better place for me. I’m from thinking about staying in the fourth grade because I don’t know if I know enough stuff to make it in fifth grade. Where I’m from Ms. Kane says that at my big meeting they said I could go on but that she promised that she will still help me even when I’m not in her class.

Where I'm From_Student Examples  

Mentor Text: Where I'm From Poets: Willie Perdermo & George Ella Lyon Unit: Building A Writing Community

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