Freshmen explore their identity through English projects


Caroline Thompson

Freshman Lola Morrell listens to Grace Krumplitsch present her self-portrait to her G Period English I class. Many students opted to draw their self-portraits but others made 3-D designs like Krumplitsch’s cube.

Caroline Thompson, Reporter

The Freshman Class finished off its first quarter by presenting Identity Projects, an English I assignment in which the students explored their identity through a poem paired with a self-portrait.

“I wanted both parts of the project to go together,” freshman Grace Krumplitsch said. “My overarching theme was that there are six prominent sides to me. Before the project, I didn’t think about the different sides of me, but the work really allowed me to break down who I am and what I stand for.”

The first quarter of the class was spent in preparation for the project, focusing specifically on Contemporary Native American poetry, according to freshman English teacher Mark Botti

“We look at how Native American poets express their identity,” Botti said. “We try to borrow ideas from the poets and incorporate the way they use figurative or literal imagery and the way they use specific words.”

According to Botti, who is also the interim English department chair, the project was created with the intention of boosting a sense unity within the class.

“It was designed specifically because when I was coming to this school, I knew it was really important to create a sense of home and community,” Botti said. “I wanted to help create and participate in that.”

The Identity Project ended with every student presenting her film and self-portrait to her classmates and submitting a written reflection of the process.

“I think knowing about what people really think so soon after meeting them is really interesting,” sophomore Kai Johnson said, reflecting on her project from last year. “We were able to feel more compassionate and understand our classmates on a deeper level even though we had just met each other.”