Thursday, January 17, 2013

Black Out Poetry

I've been working on getting together a more comprehensive poetry unit together this year. 

Those worked great for getting the essentials into my kids' heads, but I have been looking at how to pull in the "Fun" side now. 

I keep seeing "Black out Poetry" on Pinterest:

And on Tumblr 

Neat right?!

Here are so of my ideas on how I can incorporate it into the classroom.

  • Gather supplies
    • Who doesn't have a buttload of magazines in their house collecting dust (just make sure they are not Cosmopolitan or something equally as raunchy!)
    • Beg, Borrow, and Steal old newspapers (my school librarian will give me the old ones for free and so will the art teacher!)
    • Go to used bookstores and pick up a few .25 cent books (One book would probably even have enough pages for each student to complete two or more of these!)
  • Explain the assignment to your students
    • I plan to start with this quote that I use in my prezi:
      • Poetry is thoughts that breath and words that burn -Thomas Gray
    • Tell students that you are going to give them a piece of writing and they are going to turn that existing piece of writing into up-cycled poetry!
    • Have them read that piece of writing and pick one word that "burns" or speaks to them and circle it
    • Have them design the rest of their poem around this word (Not what is written on the page) by circling words that they would like to incorporate. 
    • There are no rules other than they must only use the words on the page.
    •  They can go up or down the page as they wish (just make sure they draw arrows to explain the correct order!)
  • Designing the art
    • Once they have their words chosen they can design the pages. They can use any art medium they wish!
    • Students don't have to be artistic to do this because they can create abstract pieces. They just need to make sure that their words stand out! 
  • Alternate option
    • Have students sit in a circle giving each student their own page. They choose the "burn word" and then pass it to the next student in the circle who will choose the next word. Students keep passing the paper until they get their original paper back. Have the students design the art and then read the poems aloud!


  1. I like your alternate idea. A cool class poem.

  2. I like your alternate idea. A cool class poem.