×
Grades 9–10
Narrative

Retrospect

Kevin G., 826 Valencia

Kevin G. was born and raised in San Francisco. He is fifteen years old. He enjoys listening to music as much as he enjoys drawing. He also likes playing sports and if you treat him right, he’ll treat you right.

What Your Students Will Produce

See more Writing at this level

Grade 10
Writing
Matricide: Addressing Climate Change

by Maggie Munday Odom, Kailua, HI

Poetry

This poem personifies Earth as a mother coping with the brutalities of climate change.

Grades 8–12
Writing
It Might Not Always Disappear

by Sian Laing

Narrative

When Instagram becomes an unsightly battlefield.

Grades 9–12
Writing
A Glitch in the System

by Soraya, 826NYC

Poetry

This student’s powerful piece reveals the essence of racial injustice.

Grade 10
Writing
What Is Freedom?

by Regina, 826LA

Poetry

From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem expresses the realization that a cage is not the only obstacle to a bird's freedom.

Grade 10
Writing
I Can Only Imagine

by Tala, Grade 10, 826 MSP

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, 10th grader Tala asks essential workers what motivates them to keep going during these difficult times, offering her own views on hope for the future.

Grades 8–10
Writing
Reuben & Giselle

by Reuben & Giselle, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

Two students write to each other about where they came from, what they love, and a few mishaps along the way in an exchange of letters.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Giving Shelter

by Steysi Hailee, 826LA

Narrative

A student reflects on a small moment and single sacrifice that transformed her outlook on giving.

Grade 9
Writing
You Deserve More

by Sabrin, Grade 9, 826 MSP

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, 9th grader Sabrin discusses how she feels both happy and sad, and thanks nurses nationwide for bringing her peace through their work.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Stupid Blue Screen

by Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra, 826DC

Narrative
Poetry

Living in the digital world can create unwanted attachments, as one student laments.

Grades 10–11
Writing
In Between

by Joanne H, 826 Valencia

Poetry

In this poem, a student’s experiences in two countries meld together as she seeks out her true home.

Grade 9
Writing
My Language

by Fahima Dahir, 826 MSP

Poetry

A poem about the strength and limitations of language and shared culture.

Grades 10–11
Writing
Bigger Than You Think

by Sharoya Bracey, 826NYC

Memoir
Narrative

In this memoir, the narrator recounts the struggle of being the bigger person in a very small space.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Haunting Picture

by Jazlyn Moses, 826 National

Narrative
Persuasive

One student explores their online persona and the lasting importance of conscientious social media practices.

Grade 9
Writing
Gone

by Kalyn Jackson, 826 New Orleans

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

Through this short story, Kalyn explores ideas of home and change in an altered world.

Grade 10
Writing
Are You White?

by Isabella, 826NYC

Poetry

This poet rejects judgement based on the color of one’s skin.

Grades 8–10
Writing
David & Daniel

by David & Daniel, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

In this heartfelt exchange of letters, two students bond over food, videos games, and some scary adventures.

Grade 10
Writing
Check, Please!, Drop-out, and Happy Endings

by Aphra, 826CHI

Informational
Media
Persuasive

A student considers realistic happy endings and the representation of LGBTQIA youth through the analysis of two webcomics.

Grade 10
Writing
She, He, Them

by Savannah, 826NYC

Narrative
Poetry

Using dialogue and detailed description, this poet investigates whose voices are heard and whose voices are left behind when injustice occurs.

Grades 9–10
Writing
The Rez Girls Are Powerful!

by Navayah, 826 MSP

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

Through redefining a label, a student reclaims a piece of their identity.

Grade 10
Writing
I Write

by Sabrin, 826 MSP

Poetry

The written word is a powerful tool, and this poem shares a few reasons why the author continues to write.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Shout-Out Poem

by Anjum, 826CHI

Poetry

A shout-out poem to some things missed (Hyderabad) and celebrated (Mom).

Grade 10
Writing
Six Poems in Search of My Border

by Jasmine J, 826 Valencia

Poetry

A student reflects on her origins to deconstruct social borders and seize her boundless future.

Grade 10
Writing
Managing to Find Joy

by Luciana, Grade 10, 826 MSP

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a sophomore at South High School in Minneapolis gives thanks to Children’s Hospital employees.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Kneel Down for What You Believe In

by Caroline, 826 Valencia

Informational
Persuasive

A student explores U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel in protest during the national anthem.

Grade 10
Writing
Black Power

by Anthony, 826DC

Poetry

This poem gives insight to what it's like growing up Black in America.

Grades 8–10
Writing
Christopher & Bryan & Jahir

by Christopher, Bryan, & Jahir, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

In an exchange of letters, three students across one city share stories about where they came from and the places that matter most.

Grades 7–9
Writing
New Sport: Pencils

by Jason, 826michigan

Informational

Making bottle flipping look like child's play, this piece outlines rules for the new, competitive Fantasy Sport "Pencils".

Grade 10
Writing
All Humans Are Equal: A Call for Immigration Reform

by Cindy, 826LA

Informational
Persuasive

A student compellingly argues that immigrants deserve respect and to be free of discrimination.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Technology Gives Me a Way In

by Jonas K., 826 National

Narrative
Persuasive

A student explores the paradox of how technology is used amongst teenagers.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Booking an Adventure

by William, 826LA

Memoir
Narrative

A teen discovers the power of books to transport him to another world, and shares his excitement about becoming a published author.

Grade 9
Writing
Used To Be Booty, Now I’m Good

by Rey, Grade 9, 826 MSP

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

Aliens give this student superpowers to help him fulfill his greatest dream.

Grades 9–10
Writing
Beat of the Drum

by Aniah, 826 MSP

Poetry

A student is lifted up by the dance of her ancestors.

Grades 9–10
Writing
Thoughts Onto Paper

by Pretty S, 826 Valencia

Memoir
Narrative

Glimpse into the mind of a student who considers artistic influences in her life.

Grades 8–10
Writing
Bryanna & Kayla

by Byanna & Kayla, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

Two students across one city bond by writing letters to each other about the people they love most.

Grades 8–9
Writing
Jazmine & Vanessa

by Jazmine & Vanessa, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

Over a series of letters, two compassionate and resilient students develop a deep friendship sealed in writing.

Grades 7–12
Writing
My Family Interview

by Johnny Vasquez, 826 MSP

Narrative

A family interview reveals a mother's painful past and shines a light on her persistence.

Grade 9
Writing
The Great Under

by Kyla Edwards, 826 New Orleans

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

This creative short story explores a snapshot of what a future New Orleans might look like amid climate change.

Grade 9
Writing
Note to Self

by Gilbert, 826LA

Memoir
Narrative

One teen writes a letter to his 14-year-old self, citing his past fears but looking towards his present, a brighter future.

Grades 8–10
Writing
Henry & Matthew & Santiago

by Henry, Matthew, & Santiago, 826CHI

Memoir
Narrative

A compilation of letters written by three students across one city filled with thoughts on books, sports, music, family, and musings on Valentine’s Day.

Grades 8–9
Writing
The Saga Continues

by Calvin, 826michigan

Narrative

A laugh-out-loud personal narrative about a crush. Has your heart ever beat so fast it might get a speeding ticket and a $500 fine?

Grade 10
Writing
Woman

by Jahruwach Hamilton, 826NYC

Poetry

In this rousing poem, a student asserts her strength and worth as a woman.

Grade 10
Writing
I Will Be a Lifesaver

by Yazmine-Gizelle, 826DC

Poetry

This poem uses a fundamental poetry technique, repetition, to share the writer's future plans.

Grades 9–10
Writing
Dandelion

by Elizabeth W, 826 Valencia

Poetry

Even though we may look different, we remain united with one another.

Grades 10–11
Writing
Sunny Smiles

by Sergio M, 826 Valencia

Narrative
Poetry

A smile isn’t always what it seems.

Grades 10–11
Writing
When Mean Girls Attack

by Tammy Fong, 826NYC

Memoir
Narrative

A soccer-filled, feud-fueled memoir.

Grades 8–12
Writing
A Challenge

by Shayne Williams

Narrative

Discover what one student experiences when they tuck their phone away for a whole day.

Grade 9
Writing
Here, Queer, Yet Not Really

by Mercury, 826CHI

Informational
Media
Persuasive

A student explores the representation of LGBTQIA+ minorities and youth in US pop culture.

Grade 9
Writing
Strength, Bravery, Selflessness, and Dedication

by Sammie, Grade 9, 826 MSP

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a freshman at South High School in Minneapolis thanks care workers for supporting our local and national communities during this global pandemic.

Grades 9–10
Writing
Where I’m From

by Charles, 826 MSP

Poetry

A student reflects on his life, stemming from the life of his father.

Grades 7–9
Writing
Fruit Woman Saves the Day

by Pia, 826NYC

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative
STEM

A student reimagines food justice: Fruit Woman must convince Junk Food Man and Cheesecake Boy to eat their fruits and vegetables.

Grades 9–12
Writing
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted

by Ryker, 826michigan

Informational
Narrative

Liner notes that showcase the meaning and musicality of the Jimmy Ruffin song “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.”