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Mr. Finn from Pittsburg CA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Lanterns in the Dark: Poems, Narrative, And The Poet X

Help me give my students, and Mx. Kartane's students, a class set of "The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo!

  • $1,147 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

The students whom I have the immense privilege to teach are lightyears beyond what can be explained in words! Students at PHS represent a loving, close-knit community, and proudly represent many cultures. It is on behalf of their excellence and strength that I have developed this project!

The kids who pass through our school, some passing through my 9th grade English class, face unique intersections of race, class, and gender, and thus are grounded in powerful, urgent truths.

This gives my students an uncompromising need to see themselves and others around them dignified every day. When they are not under a punitive thumb, students burst with beauty and talent I have not encountered anywhere else. Winning national creative awards, organizing annual cultural showcases, and engaging in dozens of on-campus clubs are some of the many accolades. My students are the most human of us all, and they are the greatest teachers of us all. The love I have for them is the least I can do; it's the love for themselves, their communities, and their potential that I fight for every day.

My Project

In the second unit of 2019, students in the classrooms of four teachers at PHS will journey through the heart of Xiomara, a Dominican teenager in Harlem, as she reckons with faith, friendship, family, love, and the thundering power of her words. The author, Elizabeth Acevedo, already a beautiful and accomplished poet, has won countless awards for her breakout work.

This story, like so many our kids keep locked away in their own hearts, is told fearlessly and is bent on giving young people a key.

Through my own life and practice, I cannot stress how important poetry is; words are a balm our wounds cannot do without. While this text masterfully weaves narrative and poetic forms, it's greatest merit lies in the message Xio shouts from it's pages: your stories are your power, and your words are freedom.

“I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn't that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.” -Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X

Unit Essential Questions:

• How do we use evidence to determine and analyze theme? (RL.1,2)

• How does an author advance the plot or develop the theme of a story using characterization? (RL.3)

• How does figurative and connotative meaning of words and phrases impact the theme of the text? (RL.4)

• How does the author use the structure of the text to impact tone? (RL.5)

Performance Tasks

(W.2) OPTION A: Observe the following question:

“How does one find their voice?”

(W.2) OPTION B: Choose any relevant topic or subject and establish a focus within that topic; now develop a “how” question:

Ex. “How is faith challenged in modern society?”

Mr. Finn
Grades 9-12
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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31 donors31 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 240 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Poet X • AKJ Education $13.13 65 $853.45

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


26 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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