InsideOut At Home

Virtual Guided Learning Library

InsideOut programming is now at your fingertips with interactive, full-length video lessons from our Writers-in-Residence. Check out sample elementary and high school lessons below featuring Senior Writer Peter Markus and Lead Teaching Artist Jassmine Parks!

At Home Creative Writing Lessons

InsideOut At Home was created to help ensure youth, families and educators have access to high-quality creative writing lessons that engage, inspire, and frame this changing world.

The lessons below are crafted to help students grow creatively and academically, with great attention paid to the Michigan Department of Education standards. Additionally, lesson plans are culturally diverse and address the social and emotional needs of youth, helping them to express their fears, frustrations, and hopes.

Lessons are separated by Elementary, Middle, and High School levels with special consideration to skill sets and content in each. Citywide Poets lessons are created especially for teens and modeled on our award-winning afterschool program. Youth can follow most lessons independently or with the help of an adult, and some have corresponding videos to enrich and enliven the At Home experience.

Elementary Lessons

Hands that Speak: Visual Arts Lesson (Video)

The intersection of art and text! This video will lead students step-by-step through writing about their own identities and using patterns to make their words stand out. Watch the full lesson below!

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Move with Music: Visual Arts Lesson (Video)

Tour through music and make the markers move! Live Coals explores the many ways a line can bend and dance, and encourages students to use music to inspire them while they create art. Watch the full lesson below!

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Color My Emotions: Visual Arts Lesson (Video)

Expressing emotions doesn’t have to be limited just to words. This video helps students add color and shape to those abstract and complicated feelings. Watch the full lesson below!

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Portraits: Visual Arts Lesson (Video)

Who needs a selfie when you have a pencil and eraser? This video explores the basics of how to draw a human face and create portraits that can tell us about ourselves and one another. Watch the full lesson below!

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Name Tags After Paul Klee: Visual Arts Lesson (Video)

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Sounds of Spring: Songwriting Lesson (Video)

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Sounds of the City: Songwriting Lesson (Video)

Students will explore the sounds of city life as they add their own spin to Detroit Music Award winning singer/songwriter Audra Kubat’s song Sounds of the City. Watch the full lesson below!

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Sounds of Happiness: Songwriting Lesson (Video)

With so much happening in the world, sometimes it’s nice to just focus on happiness. Singer/Songwriter Audra Kubat helps students brainstorm what brings them joy and then weave it into song. Watch the full lesson below!  

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Sounds of Emotions: Songwriting Lesson (Video)

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Inside My Pencil: Imagination (Video)

“A pencil is more than just a pencil,” says Senior Writer Peter Markus. Students will practice using their imaginations to reveal what they uniquely can “see” in their mind’s eye, as well as using verbs that make their imaginings come to life on the page…. Read More

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Middle School Lessons

Ramadan Traditions & Personification

View, download and print the lesson in English here. View, download and print the Arabic translation.

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Sometimes I Feel: Similes & Metaphors (Video)

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Take Refuge: Learning Anaphora (Video)

With Senior Writer Peter Markus, students will learn to recognize and use anaphora while finding beauty in the broken and run-down. This lesson utilizes the model poem “Refuge” by Robert Fanning. Watch the lesson below! View, download, and print the lesson here.

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You Belong Nowhere But To Yourself: Safe Spaces (Video)

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Black Excellence Sounds Like: Figurative Language (Video)

With Writer-in-Residence Jassmine Parks, students will explore strategies employed by the black power movement and utilize similes/metaphors and imagery to construct a poem. Students will read and analyze the poem “Marcus Garvey Sits For A Bust” by Marilyn Nelson. Watch the lesson below! View, download,… Read More

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Odes for the People We Can’t See Right Now (Video)

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Citywide Poets: Performance Prep

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Citywide Poets: los niños olividados / Forgotten Children

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Citywide Poets: That Song

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Citywide Poets: Bad Birds

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High School Lessons

All You Need Is Love: Formal Poems

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This Means That: Symbolism

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Take Refuge: Learning Anaphora (Video)

With Senior Writer Peter Markus, students will learn to recognize and use anaphora while finding beauty in the broken and run-down. This lesson utilizes the model poem “Refuge” by Robert Fanning. Watch the lesson below! View, download, and print the lesson here.

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You Belong Nowhere But To Yourself: Safe Spaces (Video)

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Black Excellence Sounds Like: Figurative Language (Video)

With Writer-in-Residence Jassmine Parks, students will explore strategies employed by the black power movement and utilize similes/metaphors and imagery to construct a poem. Students will read and analyze the poem “Marcus Garvey Sits For A Bust” by Marilyn Nelson. Watch the lesson below! View, download,… Read More

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Citywide Poets: Home & Culture

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Citywide Poets: Working with Emotional Memory

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Citywide Poets: What Happens to The Lost?

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Instructions for Hope: Prose Poetry

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Citywide Poets: My Body My Voice

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For other at home opportunities, teens can participate in our award-winning Citywide Poets program virtually.

Watch InsideOut At Home Story Time on Youtube.