A Timeline of My Inspiration

Facilitator Notes: This assignment can be used as a discussion in an in-person lesson plan or as a virtual worksheet. Based on the feedback of the class the assignment can be extended through classroom discussion for one week or one hour. The assignment is designed for students’ ranging from 8th-12th grade.

Sequence of Activities:


Answer the following questions:

  • Who raised you?
  • Who raised the person that raised you?
  • How does this influence the way you view the world?

The Poem:

Read and Watch the poem “Counting Descent” by Clint Smith and underline anything that catches your eye. Facilitator note: you may have to copy and paste the lyrics in a separate document to make it easier to read for your participants.

Answer the following questions:

  • In your opinion, who raised this poet?  
  • Who raised the person that raised this poet?
  • How does this influence the way the poet sees the world?

Poem Brainstorm:

Create a timeline of the people who impacted you throughout your life. Identify the qualities and inspiration you admire about each person. How would you describe each person?

Poem Writing:

1. Grab a clean sheet of paper.

2. On the upper right-hand corner of a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What are your pronouns?  
  3. Write the date, time, and location you begin writing this poem.
  4. What is the title of your poem?

Example Poem Header:

01/02/22, office, 6:53 am
Title of Poem

3. Using the people from your timeline. write a poem that celebrates those that have been most influential to you. If you need help, here are some of the prompts that can help you start your poem:

  • I was born from
  • I am built out of


Education Level: 

High School




Lesson Plan

Time Frame: 

One hour to one week

Required Materials: 

Paper and writing utensil

Literary model: 

"Counting Descent" by Clint Smith

Lesson Plan: