There is more to an "I Am" poem than name, address ,etc. that lends itself to 
more soul-searching. Discuss/show examples of figurative answers, as opposed 
to literal ones.  Write one for yourself!  I don't have it all with me, but 
it's something like:

I am
I touch
I feel
I think
I like
I hear
I remember
I need
I love
I hate

Think of/add more emotions.

Also, for your unit, have the parents write something about their memories or 
feelings for their child as part of the project.  Students can collect 
writings, essays, poems, etc. and bind them.  Have them decorate the cover 
with a symbol for themselves.

"Eleven," also by Cisneros, i think,  is another good story for this unit.  
Students can write about a moment in their lives they will never forget, 
using plenty of similes and metaphors, of course.  Before hand, i distribute 
strips of paper, each with a different simile or metaphor from the story, to 
pairs of students and have them draw the simile..blending literal and 
figurative.  They must write the quote at the top, and on the bottom explain 
what the character was feeling.