Food For Thought: Memories Sparked and Chewed Over

A discussion of food and memory began our class in preparation to study Gary Soto’s Narrative Style poem, Oranges. Nostalgia and feelings came up a lot in our talks. What emotions are attached to memory and/or food? Why? Do memories change as time goes by? How? Below are some examples of student’s work.

Lesson Note:  Students performed the poem after reading. To have students physicalize the poem, is to place it in muscle memory. Often at the end of a residency, ‘Oranges’ is the poem remembered most. Writer Maya Lang has it right when she says:” [Writers] are in an improve skit that never ends.”

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 2

Video Games
Connor R.

Frustraiton fills my mind
Don’t know what the next move will be.
Will I die or will I win?
There he is,
The last person left.
Running in my direction,
looking around and around
wondering where I am
I take the shot.
Confetti fills the air.
I won, I won the game.
My body filled with excitment,
jumping up and down,
I won, I really won.

Anysia N.

The sun shown brightly down, the air though was cold
I stepped through the door instantly hearing the chopping of the knife
I greeted them then sat down to help.
With countless hours of chopping, mixing, blending and folding
It was made.

Frozen but thawed out by the steam of a pot. It was wrapped like
a baby, but soaked.
Water dripped down but steam rose like mist.
We each took one, sat down and unwrapped it
that chatter and laughter vanished, as we began to fill our mouth
Hard hours of creating was not wasted at such creation.
A tradition for years gone and years come.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 3

Margarita Pizza
Maurcy P.

It was a bright, hot day.
I was in Poland, Europe
We had just climbed stairs to enter the restaurant
My Grandpa and Grandma talked in Polish
Me and my sister talking in English
I was craving pizza, but I did not know what to order
They did not have sausage or pepperoni
So I went with the margarita pizzza
It was so good
That day I knew there was more than
just sausage and pepperoni.

Her Speciality
Izellah D.

After school, I would go to my grandma’s
She always had food waiting for me,
but my favorite would be her rice.
It had just the right amount of
flavor that oculd make 1000 people
She had a way of making her food.
Maybe it was the amount of love
she put in it.
She told me that I would get the
recipe when I was older.
It was always tradition for her to bring
the rice to a party.
No one could replace her rice, not even
my mom.
But, as usual, I leave my grandma’s house,
pondering on this rice that will always be
waiting for me after school, at my
grandma’s house.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.