“Just a kid from Chicago…” – Self-Made Bios!

To end our second unit focused on building narratives and storytelling, we took ourselves out of our own heads and created our own biographies! Instead of writing autobiographies, we used a 3rd-person perspective to us think about how we want others to see us and how it compares to how we think we’re seen by them.

For the workshop, we watched Darius Simpson & Scout Bostley’s “Lost Voices” – twice, to catch the twists and turns of this unique poem that switches speakers.

Hear it firsthand! For my seventh workshop with Ms. Nazimek’s 8th Grade English class, poets told us how to tell their story, and you can check out some of their words here:


Group 1


Damian P.

From the secret love for animals
To the huge obsession with wrestling
“He” is all I got to say:
He, the one who will do anything to see Lil Uzi perform
He, the one who has the best taste in music
He, who gets mildly frustrated when people spell his name
With an E
Who still has all his WWE figures to this day
Who puts family over anything
Who is a true gentleman
Is Damian P!


Raul F.

He eats a lot of tacos de chorizo or de pastor
Another thing is, he plays soccer, supposedly really
Good at soccer, he wants to go pro. And loves
Maruchan. And every game to this day he
Still gets nervous and drinks orange juice before
Every game, every single game


Melanie M.

Melanie is funny, she
Likes to make people
Laugh. She is really short
But not too short. Did
You know that she
Likes school, well kinda.
She can be friendly
Sometimes. She hates
When people confuse
Her name. But overall
Melanie is chill.
Well, sometimes.

Anthony T.

He is a tall person.
He’s a dude. He plays soccer
And seems to enjoy it.
They might not know his age
Because of his height. They
Probably won’t know his religion.
But when they meet him,
They should know that he likes
Wings. And that he loves
Soccer. You should also
Ask for his name. And
That he likes video games.
Anything that he wouldn’t want
You to know, well,
Can’t say because it’s
Disclosed info!



Group 2


Emysabel G.

Emy can be loud and annoying,
in a funny way tho. She is also
A 14 year old girl that loves to play basketball
And soccer. She can sometimes be insecure
About herself. Emy is also a sensitive
Girl but acts like she’s not. Many people
Say she’s pretty, but she thinks she’s not.
Emy is an outgoing person and hates to be
In her house all of the time, that’s
Why she’s always making plans. Emy can
Be positive with some things but she can
Also be negative. Emy can vibe with literally
Everyone and it’s cool that she does.


Lianna C.

Lianna is a dancer and wants to do it professionally.
She snorts when she laughs and laughs at everything
She’s constantly injured from what I know
Always wearing a knee brace and has injured hips.
She likes to read and takes it seriously.
She likes to draw and paint.
She’s super clumsy, always falling and drops stuff.
She’s Mexican and is proud of it.


Jocelyn C.

Jocelyn is nice.
Jocelyn is sweet, and quiet.
But then: she likes to read
Jocelyn is also shy. But she
Don’t want no one to
Know that she is short.


Alex A.

Alex is nosey, every time Alex opens the blinds to
See who is fighting and Alex sees his neighbors fighting.
Sometimes, Alex just feels like looking.


Group 3


Joseph M.

It was only a few days before the White Sox were World Champions
That he was born. It was November 9, 2005. As the years went on he
Discovered many things. In preschool he was forced to wear glasses because
Of how poor his vision was. A few months after his 4th birthday, his
Parents came home holding his baby sister. After her 1st birthday, he decided to
Play catch with her. Although she couldn’t catch because of her tiny hands.
At the time he was right-handed, but he began to throw with his left hand. It felt
Weird at first, but he eventually got used to it.


Yahir C.

Yahir was born May 12, 2006. He always
Got dirty playing soccer, he played it all day, every day,
Any day. When he was 6 he fractured his right
Ankle & stopped playing until he was 8. He went to
John Marsh, then transferred to Washington in
5th grade. He played for 3 soccer clubs in
2 years & received 1st place for every tournament
The club entered. He played as midfielder &
Recently he hasn’t played for any team.


Jaime L.

Just a kid from Chicago born in 2006
Who has dreams, big dreams. Dreams of being a
Professional baseball player. Who has a bunch of shoes,
So many shoes that he can’t even fit them in his own
Closet. It’s like an addiction. He first fell in love with shoes
When his dad got him into it.


Nathan H.

Nathan is a 14 year old boy.
When people first see him, they already know he’s a big
Fella. Lots of people don’t know that he could
Jam out to country music at times and he
Is a quarter Native American. What people
Should know is he has good manners, from his mom,
And he plays basketball. If he were to go to
Another city with a lot of hoods like Chicago, he
Would probably let em know he’s from Chicago.
What he don’t want people to know about is
His personal life like family problems, girls, and
His goals.


Gabriella S.

People don’t know much about Gabriella.
Many people don’t know she wants to travel the world
Not many people know I know sign language
And not many people know she’s lived in Arizona for a
While, but then came back to Chicago.
Many people do know how shy she can be, especially
When it comes to presenting!
Everyone knows I have curly hair, dug, or at least should know
But there’s something I’d like people to know about me:
It’s that I am NOT a people person, even if it may
Seem like it.


Christian L.

Christian is 14 years old and he is tall.
Christian plays a lot of sports and he will
Never pass up a chance to play. He is trying
To get into shape. He likes to play video
Games and he is also kinda sensitive.
He is into dark humor and it’s kinda
Funny. He really dislikes Star Wars and loud
People. He doesn’t like cocky people who
Show-off, because he thinks it’s obnoxious.
He is short-tempered but never shows it.
Christian’s biggest fear is bug and that’s
The one thing he cannot stand.


Alexis L.

Hey, lemme introduce you to this girl named Lexi.
She’s some 13 year old white girl with green eyes and
Freckles. She plays basketball and isn’t that bad
At it to be honest. Not only that, she’s
Decent at volleyball. She has 3 brothers
And a bigheaded nephew. She cannot
Dance, yet she used to do ballet.
She may seem mean, but once you
Get to know her, she’s really funny and
Nice, I think you’d like her!



“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.