The Things We Carry @ Peterson 6th Grade

For our second virtual poetry lesson, Peterson students explored poetry about immigration. Immigration is the process in which people move from their country of birth to a foreign country, to seek new opportunities and a better way of life. Together students read the poem, “Things We Carry on the Sea,” by Wang Ping, who as a young woman, immigrated from China to the U.S.  In her poem Ping, describes the experiences of immigrants, what they left behind in their home countries, but also what they took with them into these new countries. “We carry soil in small bags: may home never fade from our hearts,” “We carry our names, stories, memories of village, fields, boats,” and “We carry yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

Students were then asked the question, “If you immigrated to another country, what would you take with you?”  Inspired by Wang Ping, students wrote poetry about the physical and symbolic items they would carry with them to a new country. Usually only three poems are published from each class, but there was so many amazing pieces, that I decided to include 4. Enjoy this week’s published poems.


Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
Group 1


Things I Carry from Chicago
Imad K.

I carry my faith in Islam from Chicago.
I carry my knowledge from Chicago.
I carry my love for my family everywhere I go.
I carry my hate for the devil wherever I roam.
I carry my luggage of clothing and other daily items wherever I go.
I carry my Holy Quran wherever I go and place it on my heart.
I carry my defense for protection when I visit someplace new.
I carry my body to walk certain places.
I carry my brain to know where I am going.
I carry my creativity wherever I go because it might be useful one day.
I carry my language so I can greet people by saying “As salaam wo alaikum”


Things I Carry from Berlin
John L.

I carry the box that is filled with the ashes of my loved ones.
I carry the pictures that are left of my family and ancestors.
I carry what is left of my old T-Shirts.
I carry all the grief and sadness I had.
I carry the 8 page book my dad wrote to me before he passed away.
I carry toy I got last from my dad.
I carry the love from my family.
I carry the thought if this war never happened
I carry the thought of the war bombing I went though.
I carry the thought “will this war end.”


Things I Carry from Life
Willem J.

I carry happiness as I see the light.
I carry sadness when I see I am gone.
I carry friends in my heart throughout the journey.
I carry my family in rhythm of my steps.
I carry knowledge in my head because I know I can.
I carry tears because I am all alone no one beside me.
I carry memories because I have to look behind me.
I carry fun you can’t go wrong with fun.
I carry creativity, you got to have creativity.
I carry my medals and rewards, to see what I have accomplished and see how far I’ve come. I carry them to cherish the successes of my past.


Things I Carry from Chicago
Syed M.

I carry my grandma’s recipes for tamales.
I carry my dad’s Mexican music DVD.
I carry my stuffed toy dog since I was a baby .
I carry my cousin’s soccer ball that he gave me.
I carry my Chicago accent, Spanish and English.
I carry poetry, that learned from Joy Young.
I carry my photographs with my memories.
I carry carry the soccer techniques that I learned to share with others.
I carry my favorite team, Barcelona.
I carry Lake Michigan from my memories.


Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
Group 2


Things I Carried from Nepal
Karina B.

I carried tears, saying goodbye to the only family I knew before my parents came.
I carried friendships I made, thanks to my new people .
I carried the very little stack of wool clothing I had.
I carried excitement, knowing a new bicycle was waiting for me.
I carried jewelry that later, I never wore.
I carried curiosity, wondering why exactly am I going away with these two nice people?.
I carried a camera, which my parents got because they lost the other, and took pictures of all the white colored people.
I have one thing I carried that was better than the rest, I carried two new people, my parents.
I’m saying goodbye, but hello at the same time and I carried a word that means both.


Things I Carry from Home
Zola B.

I carry a tear jar of all the times I’ve cried.
I carry my happy, sad, tragic memories of things that have happened with family and friends.
I carry food to keep me alive during these times.
I carry hygiene products to keep me healthy and clean.
I carry a cup of water to keep me alive,
I carry my blanket and stuffed animal to keep me warm and safe.
I carry money to buy new things of my liking.
I carry my phone, charger, and headphones to keep me occupied and to keep in touch
with loved ones.
I carry words of wisdom from people who have taught me how to live and take care of myself over the years.


Things I Carry from America
Soufiane D.

I carry my hope for a better life .
I carry my sorrow that I must leave my home.
I carry my books to become knowledgeable in many subjects.
I carry my food to eat when I have none to spare.
I carry my water to quench my thirst.
I carry the money I will take to the foreign exchanged.
I carry the memories I rejoice.
I carry the thoughts that every night come back to me as dreams.
I carry the recipes I have learned that were passed down from generation to generation.


Things I Carry from Chicago
Lana S.

I carry photographic memories from family travels and childhood.
I carry my beloved cat, Shadow.
I carry my drawing and writing journals.
I carry my parent’s favorite perfumes or scents; to be reminded of them.
I carry my parent’s wedding CD’s.
I carry my favorite stuffed animals and blankets.
I carry my dearest memories and nostalgia.
I carry inspiration and optimism.
I carry education and academic achievements.
I carry my cultural background, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and my birth home Chicago, “Chitown Stand Up!”


Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
Group 3


Things I Carry from Kosovo
By Benart B.

I carry traditions from years and years and years ago.
I carry money. Some type of currency to make me assured that I will still be healthy and not in a bad situation.
I carry emotional scars. Emotional experiences I have been through.
I carry physical scars. Every scar having a memory of its own.
I carry cards my mom’s uncle sent to her during the war.
I carry pictures as a source of memory of journeys.
I carry books as a source of entertainment and knowledge.
I carry opened eyes knowing positive and negative experiences will be created.
I carry electronics as a source of connection with the people I love most.
I carry hope. I carry hope so I can be successful and know that I can win if I put my mind to it.


Things I Carry
By Nicolas E.

I carry my grandfather’s telescope.
I carry the spirit of my aunt.
I carry the books that help me lose myself to another world.
I carry the strength of my Cherokee ancestors.
I carry the perseverance of my Cherokee ancestors.
I carry the stuffed animals to comfort me.
I carry the knowledge that I have gained.
I carry the recipes of my family.
I carry the hope that things will come together.
I carry the pride of my family and the generations that slowly developed our species.
I carry the symbol of thousands of generations.


Things I Carry from My Various Ancestry
By Sadiya L.

I carry the mentality of my mother, “What would a winner do?”
I carry food and clothes in the blue-velvet bag that was gifted to me.
I carry the handcrafted wooden music box that plays my great-grandfather’s favorite song.
I carry the creativity of my aunt; her talent for drawing and music.
I carry the ability to use my voice to its full capacity; speaking up for what I need and want.
I carry some of the handmade jewelry and art I have collected.
I carry the morals and integrity my parents taught me.
I carry the memories of my best moments to keep me motivated.
I carry a watch and a compass in order to keep track of where I am and the day.


Things I Carry  
By Aliyah R.

I carry my document with my very important information.
I carry memories of my African culture, foods, and ancestors.
I carry my loving and tasty family recipes such as goat meat, stew, spinach, and pounded yam.
I carry the colored fabric that I used as formal headwear.
I carry the languages such as Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, and Fula.
I carry the hot sun, so it can be 104 degrees. Like it is in Lagos, Nigeria.
I carry 2,000 Niger hoping to use it in the future.
I carry memories of holidays throughout my life, good and bad.
Lastly, I carry hope and determination for a new life.



“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.