Blackout Poetry (Part 1)
This week I did a lesson on blackout poetry with my intermediate level high school students! Normally the project is done with texts from newspapers, magazines or novels, but I was worried about the vocabulary being too broad/out of reach. I wanted my students to focus on having fun, being creative, and playing with the language, rather than looking up/learning new words. So instead, I typed up a batch of their weekly English essays, omitted the names, and returned them for use with this assignment! Not only did this assure that the vocabulary was appropriate, it also made the assignment more personal and interesting!
The lesson was a pretty big challenge for most of them, but they persevered and produced some really great work! As you’ll see when you read them, the poems range from humorous, to whacky, to truly inspiring. If you’d like to view the Prezi presentation I used for the lesson, you can do so here. And if you’re interested in trying this with your class, here’s what helped make the project a success for my students: using level appropriate texts, making sure they know it doesn’t have to be “perfect English,” giving them permission to split words apart or use individual letters to spell out new thoughts, and having lots of text copies for when they got stuck or wanted to start over.
I highly recommend this project and welcome any ideas anyone has for how to do something like this with lower level students!