The Secret of Youth

by Micah Daniels

Photo by Yolanda Richards

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Ritual

Step 1

Ask your students, “What is something you used to do, you continue to do, and will continue to do as you grow older? Why?” Then briefly discuss.

Step 2

Read “The Secret of Youth” by Micah Daniels. When you’re done, simply discuss the poem. How would you describe the relationship between the speaker and her mother? Why?

Step 3

Say, “Take a few minutes to hone in on one specific act, moment, ritual, etc. that will stick with you forever. Then jot down the sights, sounds, tastes, and physical feelings that you associate with that one ‘thing.’ Take a few minutes to brainstorm.”

Step 4

Have your students compose a poem similar in sentiment to “The Secret of Youth” in which they discuss a ritual, act, thing, etc. that they hope will continue for the rest of their lives.

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

Have your students watch the following video, the “first stand-up comedy special written entirely by [AI] bots.” Ask your students if they could or could not tell that the bit was generated by artificial intelligence.

Step 3

Hold a brief discussion about their take on the relationship between AI and writing. Is AI at a place where it can feasibly replace humans as writers? Why or why not? If not, will it get to that place?

Step 4

Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students will compare/contrast the original text of Micah Daniels “The Secret of Youth” with the AI generated translation. Then give your students time to work.

Step 5

When they are done, have them share their takeaways with the rest of the class.

Step 6

Conclude the lesson by showing your students the following video, a brief vlog entry by John Green about his take on the rise of AI writing bots.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Aging
  • Appreciation
  • Body / Body Image
  • Children / Youth
  • Community / Culture
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Home / Homelessness
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Parenting

Literary Tags

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