by Fatimah Asghar & Eve L. Ewing

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: From

Step 1

Ask your students, “What’s an offensive question or saying that you hear all the time, a saying that many people may not even realize is insensitive? And why is that question offensive to you (and others)?” Then give your students time to discuss.

Step 2

Look at the visual poem “From” by Fatimah Asghar and Eve L. Ewing. When you’re done, briefly discuss the poets’ feeling toward the question “Where are you from?” Then discuss why the poem is formatted in such a manner.

Step 3

Say, “Try to think of a question that, like “Where are you from?”, is offensive for a variety of reasons. Then come up with some examples of “how” it is said and “what is meant” when it is asked.” Then give your students a few moments to brainstorm.

Step 4

Ask your students to compose a poem similar in sentiment to “From” in which they compose a visual poem (in the likeness of a chart) that expresses their feelings toward an unfortunately common, offensive phrase or remark.

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one.

Step 2

Watch the following sketch. Then briefly discuss the elements that make it comedic. Ask your students, “What larger issue(s) are they trying to address?”.

Step 3

Now read the visual poem “From” by Fatimah Asghar and Eve Ewing. Ask your students how the poem reflects the sentiment of the comedic sketch. What similar concepts or messages do they share?

Step 4

Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to use the program “Markup Hero” to discuss how the different elements of the visual poem work together to contribute to one larger message. Then give your students time to work.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them share their annotated images with the rest of the class. Try to choose students whose responses vary slightly from one another.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Class
  • Community / Culture
  • Family
  • History
  • Home / Homelessness
  • Immigration
  • International
  • Race / Ethnicity / Racism

Literary Tags

  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure
  • Tone