An Open Letter...
by Patricia Liu
Workshop Title: Open Letter
Ask your students, “Where do you consider “home”? What do you remember fondly about that place? Why?” Then give them time to discuss.
Read “An Open Letter To Everyone Asking Why I Always Come Back to” by Patricia Liu. When you’re done, briefly discuss the reasons she loves Oklahoma as much as she does.
Say, “Focus on your “home” and come up with as many reasons as you can that explain why you love that place. Try to think of your own personal experiences, but also try to think of the ways and reasons other people love that place, as well.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.
Have your students compose a poem similar in sentiment to “An Open Letter To Everyone Asking Why I Always Come Back to” in which they express their appreciation toward a place they consider “home.”
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Selection of Detail
If your students are not familiar with the concept of “selection of detail,” go through the brief introductory lesson.
Show your students the following picture. Then ask your students to give you three reasons, based on the picture, why they would not want to live in that place. Write them down on the board.
Now, using the responses your students came up with, ask them to discuss how those qualities may actually be reasons they – or other people – would want to live there. Have them discuss their responses.
Read “An Open Letter to Everyone Asking Why I Always Come Back to” by Patricia Liu. When you’re done, ask your students to discuss the different qualities Liu finds appealing about her home state, qualities so important to her that she felt compelled to compose an “open letter” to those who were curious about her attachment to the place.
Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to have to look at the selected details of the piece and discuss how those details reveal the speaker’s appreciation for Oklahoma and serve as a “rebuttal” to those who don’t necessarily share that sentiment. Then give your students time to work.
When your students are done, have them share their responses with the rest of the class.
If time permits, share the exemplar essay.
- Selection of Detail
- Children / Youth
- Community / Culture
- Environment / Environmental Justice
- Home / Homelessness
- Selection of Detail