My Sister Teaches Me How to Ululate

by Seema Yasmin

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Solidarity

Step 1

Ask your students, “Whom do you “belong” with? Why do you belong with this group? What shared experiences do you have?” Briefly discuss.

Step 2

Read “My Sister Teaches Me How to Ululate” by Seema Yasmin. When you’re done, briefly discuss the feelings of kinship between the speaker and the other characters. What did they bond over? How? And why?

Step 3

Say, “Take a few minutes to think about that group with whom you belong. What do you bond over? In what ways do you express this bond? And why? Take a few minutes to brainstorm.”

Step 4

Ask your students to compose a poem similar in sentiment to “My Sister Teaches Me How to Ululate” by Seema Yasmin in which they express their feelings of solidarity (brotherhood, sisterhood, etc.) with a specific group and discuss their connection.

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 another poem as a warm up, “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden. Simply ask your students to listen as you read the poem aloud. Then briefly discuss the “message” of the poem.

Step 3

Write the word “similarly” on the board. Then ask your students how that word could be used to describe elements of the text. What words or ideas work “similarly” in the poem? Briefly discuss.

Step 4

Then hold the same discussion with the words “in contrast” and “nevertheless.”

Step 5

Ask your students to open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to randomly choose three “linking” words and apply them to an analysis of Seema Yasmin’s “My Sister Teaches Me How to Ululate.” Read the poem with them, then give your students time to work.

Step 6

When your students are done, have them share their randomly chosen linking words and a brief summary of their analyses.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Appreciation
  • Body / Body Image
  • Class
  • Community / Culture
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Gender / Gender Identity / Gender Expression / Sexism
  • History
  • International
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Race / Ethnicity / Racism

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail
  • Sound Devices
  • Structure
  • Structure (Line Breaks)
  • Structure (Syntax)
  • Tone

Content Warning

  • Sexism and Misogyny