Friday, April 11, 2014

Celebrate Words! Two Poetry Month Activities for School-Agers

We've been celebrating Poetry Month with two of my favorite poetry-writing activities. And best of all, both involve library materials! If you're looking to add another activity or two to your own April festivities, give one of these a whirl!

Blackout Poems
All it takes to create a blackout poem is a page from a book and a black marker. I've been mindful of what books I've had to withdraw for broken spines, missing pages, etc., and I set aside ones with "juicy" words specifically for use in this activity. In my program earlier this week, for example, pages came from The Blue Fairy Book and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Once you've got your page from the book, the process is to black out all the words you don't want to use with your black marker. It's almost like making poetry with negative space--choosing the gems of words you want to use in your poem, and getting rid of the rest. What's so great about this activity is that it truly focuses on what words can do. You can't add words, and you can't change word order--what's on the page is what you've got to work with.

Book Spine Poems
I use this activity every year because it's so quick and fun. The premise is to find books on the library shelves, combine them with others, and use their titles on their spines to create a poem. If you want lots of inspiration and some great book spine poems to read, check out Travis's annual Book Spine Poem Gallery over at 100 Scope Notes.


What activities do you use with school-age kids to celebrate Poetry Month?

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