“To me, it feels like home” – Introductory Freewrites!

For Washington Elementary’s first session of 2019-2020, we wrote freewrites based on our favorite things, places and experiences that shape who we are as people. We read Gwendolyn Brooks’ classic We Real Cool and watched a video made by Manual Cinema in association with Crescendo Literary and the Poetry Foundation:

After taking in Brooks’ scene creation, all three classes of Washington Elementary wrote some beautiful poems that told me a bit more about themselves. These poems take us all over their neighborhoods, the city of Chicago, and around the world! In particular, I felt moved by the conversational feel of certain lines, and when I was reading over this week’s set of freewrites, I was able to sit next to them through their straightforward imagery. It was a truly lovely experience that made me super excited to work and write with Washington Elementary this year, and those of you following along with us will surely be taken for a journey!

Here’s a few from our first week in Ms. Nazimek’s 8th grade class:


Group 3


Jesus Partida

The not so clean air
that fills me with joy
the houses that look broken down
but are filled with beautiful memories

the sound of the truck yelling
gas por solo 300 pesos
sound of my grandma making
the tortillas and telling me
ya estan las tortillas

to me it feels like home
even though I wasn’t born here
But my parents were
and they make it feel
like home to me.


Ulises Andrade

Basketball: Praise to all of the Chicago hoopers that have been
so inspiring to me, and many other Chicago Kids. D Rose: The
man that got me into basketball. Dwayne Wade: One of
the Chicago hoopers that never allowed my Chicago
Bulls win the finals during the 2010-2014 stretch.

Mexico: My favorite place to go over the summer. The
beautiful trees, water, and basically everything from
nature to food!

Playstation 4: The console that took my life over
3 years ago. I get on PS4 about daily with
my friends. We mainly play Fortnite.

Praise to all these things that really make me happy.


Group 2


Paul Garcia

The structures stand high and tall.
They go up, up and away and never come down.
Even though they look as if they would fall.
There is no other place than downtown.

So many places to go and explore.
So many people to vibe with and forget about the downs.
And every time you will be going back for more
There is no other place than downtown.


Janet Cortez
I Am Me

I am me
I am whoever I want to be
I am my own person
I do what I feel like doing
I like myself for who I am
I am me

I’m not the perfect mexican daughter
I make mistakes
I don’t always succeed
I sometimes give up
But at the end of the day
I’m still me

Whenever I’m on the soccer field
I forget about all my mistakes, my failures.
When I’m on the soccer field I’m me
I am who I want to be.
Whenever I shoot a goal I forget
about all my worries.
I am me


Group 1


Alejandro Mani

Come home. hard work, mama calling me to do everything
worried about my brother leaving for camps, but the
good day’s lived and to be lived. Watching and playing
football, basketball, even soccer, my brother yells
half asleep for me to stop yelling at the
game. My friends are dope. They funny and
we clowns. I eat anything I see.

I’m 13 you see. I made the all-star team, I feel pleased, but my
world different cause I think different. I’m
1000 ideas and thoughts. One funny guy. I’m the
Joker, a class clown, but I am a class president.
I fought the odds and fight them today and
tomorrow. I’m about 5 foot tall but still make things
work. Wanna see my cousins in Texas.
Born June 2006, closing in on the end of my first
full decade, 10 years I’ve seen. God, have
we changed. It’s 5 o’clock, my boy here
to me pick me up for football..
So I’ll talk to you later!


Santiago Sanchez

Getting home from a long
day jut to be yelled at
for something I didn’t do. Going to
my room just to find out
my dog peed in it. Going to sleep
then waking up. Going to school
and doing work. Coming back home
to do it all over again.



“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.