Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blackout Poetry in honor of National Poetry Month

         There are those activities that you start with your students that seem like such a great idea and then you try and they don't go as well. Then there are activities that you think - this might be over their heads but let's try anyway only to be blown away from the outcome.  This activity fits in the last category. I saw a great idea on Twitter called Blackout Poetry and had to try it. The premise is for students to take a page of a weeded book and then black out the words that they don't want to use for the poem.  The words not blacked out make the poem.
           Today's group did such a great job and you could really see the critical thinking that the students used for this activity. They were working on blacking out the words and kept going back and forth between what to use and what not to use and explaining their reasoning to each other. Then when we got to the end they needed a title. So one of the students looked at the words and said them out loud slowly: "stiff, look into her eyes, standing still". Then he had an "aha" moment and screamed, "MEDUSA! You turn stiff when you look at her."  It was a great moment of students analyzing their work and making connections to prior knowledge. Here is their poem and an image of the page that they use to create it.


Each one was standing alone,
looking stiff and angry, 
he had to pass them on the way.
He had to pass, 
didn't say anything. 
Just turned his head the other way.
They had the nerve to look at 
her in the eyes.

To read more check out our padlet: http://padlet.com/amitchell/poetrywall

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