‘You’re Latina, right?’ : The Question Poem

We opened class by playing a few rounds of Rapid Fire Questions ( a set of random questions that a student tried to answer in under a minute) before we began to wrap our heads around stereotypes, identity and more questions in Diane Burn’s poem, Sure You Can Ask Me A Personal Question. Students then wrote their own identity-themed Question Poem.

Lesson Note: “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers,” mused writer, James Thurber. Students listened and learned some interesting things about their classmates’ identities (and struggles with defining them)  during this session.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 2

Funny Poem
Saul G.

No, I am not Bruce Willis
No, not The Rock
No, I am Saul.
No, not from Russia.
No, not from Germany.
No, not from Israel.
No, I am not in danger.
Yes, American.
So, that’s how you know to speak Portuguese.
Your American parents, huh?
Let me guess. Caucasian?
Oh, so you’ve had a friend that’s from Israel?
Is it true?
Yeah, sorry for calling you all those names.
It’s real decent of you to apologize.
No, I’m not a famous performer.
I’m just myself.
I am actually Mexican-American or Hispanic.
for short.

Juan M.

No I am not Jesus
No I am not Batman
No I am not Flash
No I am not a woman
Yes my name is Juan
No I don’t cut grass
I don’t believe in god but I believe in myself.

My Identity
Yeimi D.

Yes I speak two languages
but I was raised with
No, I am not from Brazil.

No, I am not from the
but I want to go to
the Dominican

I’m from Chicago
and I’m Mexican

We have good food
But some don’t
know how to cook

We all have family
from Mexico.
But we don’t
know who they are.

Are you proud of who you are after
trump has talked bad about it?

Of course I am.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 1

Markathony P.

No, I don’t wear Panchos.
No, I don’t mow the lawn for money.
No. My name is not Jose.
No, we don’t eat tacos every day.
No, I don’t play soccer.

Michelle V.

Do you tan?
You’re Mexican?
Were you born here?
Where are your parents from?
You like beans?

Jennifer L.

Eres hispano?
Es bonito?
Tienes algo en especial?
De donde eres?

Hablas mi misma lengua?

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 3

Maidely D.

You’re Latina, right?
Of course, how could I not be?
Yeah, I figured
You hear about the deportations that are happening?
You scared?
Scared of being deported?
I’m American.
Oh right, right!

You’re’ fluent?
In Spanish…?
Not fully.
What do you mean, ‘Wow’?
Well, I mean, I just expected…y’know…since you’re
Well, I mean, i just expected…
y’know…you would be respectful
of my ethnicity.

Your Daily Dose of Questions
Briana C.

I am Salvadorian.
No, not Asian.
I like jewelry.
It’s not all nose rings and head pieces.
I understand, Salvador is a third world
That doesn’t make me poor.
Crime happens all around us, yes, you too.
So why do you think I’m a criminal?
Maybe I am quiet, I read books and write
for fun, but I’m not anti-social.
Being Mexican doesn’t make me a fast
runner or good swimmer.
Thank you, I know I have highlights
No, they’re not fake
Thank you, I know I have dimples
No they’re not fake
Thank you, I know I’m tall
No, I don’t do basketball or volleyball
or modeling.
But say I do,
Would you still laugh at my differences?

Mexican and Proud
Saul G.

What’s your favorite movie?
War for the Planet of the Apes
What’s your favorite type of music?
Trap Music
What’s your favorite horror film?
What’s your favorite sport?
What’s your favorite fast food place?
Taco Bell
What’s your race?
Mexican and proud.




“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.