Born. Living. Will. Die.

by Camonghne Felix

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Grounded

Step 1

Say, “Try to think of somebody who always “grounds” you. Grounding, in this sense, doesn’t mean punishing; it means bringing you back to reality, reminding you about a fundamental truth about life. What does this person help you remember or understand? And why?” Then give your students time to discuss.

Step 2

Read “Born. Living. Will. Die.” by Camonghne Felix. When you’re done, briefly discuss the ways in which the speaker’s aunt “grounds” her, or brings her back to reality.

Step 3

Say, “Focus on one person who always “grounds” you, who always reminds you about one of life’s important truths or lessons. Who is this person? And what does this person help you remember? Try to be as specific as you can.” Then give your students 5-10 minutes to brainstorm.

Step 4

Have your students compose a poem similar in sentiment to “Born. Living. Will. Die.” in which they pay homage to a person who always reminds them about one of life’s fundamental truths or lessons.

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

Start by reading the poem “Cotton Candy” by Kaveh Akbar. When you’re done, ask your students what they thought of the poem and the ways in which Akbar articulates his message. Briefly discuss.

Step 3

Then show your students the following image, a visual representation of “Cotton Candy” created by Akbar himself. Have your students discuss how – in their opinion – the visual reflects the poem and its content.

Step 4

Read “Born. Living. Will. Die.” by Camonghne Felix. Ask your students to try to visually conceptualize the poem as you are reading aloud.

Step 5

Have your students open the following document and go over the introduction and instructions with them. In this assignment, your students will be creating a visual representation – similar in style to Akbar’s – of Felix’s poem. Then give your students time to work on the assignment.

Step 6

When your students are done, have them share their products with the rest of the class. You can have them share out individually, post their products in a Jamboard or Padlet, have a “gallery walk,” etc. Just give your students the opportunities to see and discuss their peers’ work.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Aging
  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Community / Culture
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Family
  • Food / Hunger
  • Friendship
  • Health / Health Care / Illness
  • History
  • Joy
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure
  • Structure (Syntax)
  • Tone