Everything Needs Fixing

by Karla Cordero

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Imperfections

Step 1

Ask your students, “What’s something “imperfect” with yourself that you’re simply content with? Something that doesn’t “need fixing.” Explain why you feel that way. Why do you appreciate that quality?” Then give them time to discuss.

Step 2

Read “Everything Needs Fixing” by Karla Cordero. When you’re done, briefly discuss the speaker’s attitude toward the concept of “fixing.”

Step 3

Say, “Think of something, like the speaker of the poem, that deserves to be left alone, something beautiful for its “imperfections and fractures.” Explain what makes it so special, or explain what you appreciate about it.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.

Step 4

Ask your students to compose a poem similar in sentiment to “Everything Needs Fixing” in which they discuss something “imperfect,” something that has a purpose despite its fractures.

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 the class by simply playing an episode of the daily poetry podcast, The Slowdown. You can choose any episode you’d like, but one is hyperlinked here for your convenience.

Step 3

Ask your students about the basic format of the podcast. How did the poet go about discussing the poem and its meaning? They should say something along the lines of, “The poet makes personal connections and provides personal anecdotes to better understand its meaning or purpose.”

Step 4

Have your students open the following document and go over the directions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to analyze the poem in the same fashion as The Slowdown: by creating personal connections with it. When you’ve gone over the directions, give your students time to work on the assignment.

Step 5

When your students are done, have one or two of them share their response with the rest of the class.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Aging
  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Education Formal / Informal
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Home / Homelessness
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Parenting
  • Philosophy

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Tone