Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stealing Like Poets

We will be diving into Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman in the coming days. Before we are flooded with poetry terms and style details, we will become poets ourselves.

Poetry can be so scary; word choice, meter, rhyming, ugh. Overwhelmed is an understatement. So we will be stealing word to build poems. I love Blackout Poetry and how studnets become so creative when given a page of words to choose from. Check out a TedTalk by Austin Kleon about how Blackout Poetry started.

I gathered old books that were too damaged to be used at the library. Then ripped the pages out [it was liberating] and borrowed a ton of markers. I guided the students by showing them previous years examples and gave them some helpful tools.

  1. Find Anchors - These are often nouns or strong verbs.
  2. Build Emotion - Find words that surround these anchors the build emotion.
  3. Direction - We read top to bottom and left to right, so try to follow that flow.
  4. Focus - Do not read the entire page, look for words, not the story! 
  5. Color - Make it clear which words make up your poems, use the markers for this.

The results have been amazing. Take a look as the worked, so creative and committed. These are the things teachers heart live on.


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