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Mr. Bancroft from Bellaire TX is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Secrets of Me: Using Novels-in-Verse to Explore Identity

My students need 35 copies of the novel-in-verse "Locomotion" for our "Exploring Identity Through Poetry" unit.

  • $302 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Who am I, who do I want to be? Why is the world suddenly so different? Where do I fit in? Remembering these typical, early-adolescent questions, you may recall how hard it was finding your place in the world. Narrative poetry is a great way for students to explore their burgeoning identity.

My school is a magnet school in a large city in Texas.

We attract students from all over the city, who must apply for admittance. Students are selected via a lottery system and often travel up to an hour each way on the bus to reach our school. Students attending the school are grateful, high-achieving, and motivated to learn. Having said that, many come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and homes where their parents are not college graduates. The unique thing about our campus is that it is extremely diverse and represents a cross-section of demographics that does not exist in any neighborhood school. The culture of the school is truly unique because of this diversity and because of that, students are more comfortable being themselves. My students are excitable and open-minded, ready to tackle even the most challenging concepts. In fact, matching their energy is sometimes challenging for me! Their enthusiasm is infectious, though, and I always strive to provide them with the best.

My Project

The novel-in-verse, "Locomotion" is a typical story about an 11 year old struggling with the jumbled feelings of growing up, problems at home, and being bored at school. Using this relatable text as a base, we will explore the many avenues to self-expression that poetry provides. Reading poetry that is accessible and relatable is key in cultivating a love of the art itself. Many students associate poetry with nursery rhymes or love poems, but this unit will teach them that there is much more to the genre. Using the poems in the book, we will learn about elements of poetry including meter, rhyme, and rhythm in addition to various literary devices including simile, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. We will model our own poetry writing off of the poems included in the book, culminating in creating an illustrated book of our own original works.

More than inspiring my students to love poetry as much as I do, my goal is for students to appreciate the written word as a mirror to see themselves in and a tool they can use to make sense of life's complexities.

To be sure, middle school is a complex time; hopefully, after reading about the similar struggles of people just like them, my students will be armed with empathy and a voice with which to explain themselves to others. In this sharing, I believe, lies tremendous possibilities.

Read More
Mr. Bancroft
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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11 donors11 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 135 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Locomotion • AKJ Books $6.23 35 $218.05

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials


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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


11 Donors


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Project Activity

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