Found Poetry

Inspired by the Poetry Tea Time website, we decided to write a few poems with our friends to end the school year.  The first activity I selected for my crew and their friends was Found Poetry.

The basic idea of a Found Poem is that you “find” a poem in a piece of text that has already been created.  Some great sources are magazines and books. Your final poem can be simple or complex; decorated or plain.  The options are endless.  You can find several examples on my Poetry Pinterest Board.

PicMonkey Collage

We decided to focus on Blackout Poetry, a type of Found Poetry in which the author blacks out the words that aren’t going to be part of the poem.  The words that remain can be highlighted through artwork or simply left for viewing.

Our lesson began with a Blackout Poetry presentation by Laura Randazzo on Prezi. Once my kids and their friends were feelinginspired, we made photo cIMG_5131opies of the pages in their favorite books for them to play around with.

NOTE:  It would be WAY more fun to use the actual book page, so hit a library or book warehouse sale and grab a few titles to save for this activity!  I plan to grab a few at our $1 book warehouse.

We began with pencils, circling words that stood out to us and working them into a design.  It wasn’t easy, but it sure was fun.

Another way to approach this would be to write the words that stand out on post-it notes and play with them a bit, eliminating ones IMG_5134that won’t work and incorporating new ones until you are ready to circle them on the paper.  Of course, you’ll have to keep them in some sort of order or use your design to guide us through the words you select.

The kids in my house that day ranged in age from 6 to 13 and everyone enjoyed creating these poems.  Some students opted to maintain a simple blackout design while other students attempted to find a design.

IMG_5139I appreciate the open-ended nature of this activity.  The final products were all very different and reflected the ages and the abilities of the child creating them.

Of course, you might have to convince your students that there isn’t a wrong way to create a Found (or Blackout) Poem.

Every poem doesn’t have to make complete sense.  Every final product doesn’t have to look like an image.  In fact, there doesn’t even have to be a final product to display.  The process of playing with the words is its own lesson.

So have some fun.  Play with the text.  See what is FOUND.

Related Posts:

Host a creative Poetry tea time and write reverso poems in the style of Marilyn Singer. Click here to find out more!

Art and Poetry come together in these beautiful books by Rob Gonsalves.


Mary Wilson

Mary is a writer and mother to four kids ranging from elementary to high school.

She believes that creativity, laughter, and fun are the backbone for engaging and inspiring homeschools. You can find her encouragement and tips on this blog, Mary Hanna Wilson.

She is an enneagram 7 and an extrovert. She enjoys traveling, tea (iced or hot), good conversations, and books. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

1 thought on “Found Poetry”

  1. Pingback: 100 Things For Kids To Do Indoors This Winter

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