Blackout Poetry (Part 1)

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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!

It's a little nonsense but we can be different if we can't feel shameful. I like and
I need just joke.
It gives strength to me. My bucket list:  make my own house, study hard, save money, keep beauty, have better life. You hate learning but you have to want it. I think people couldn't do handspring. But don't give up. You can do anything. My favorite is people. Fills my room. So I feel very very very exciting and interesting. My confidence ability was motivating to me every day. My effort paid off was worth it. It was a chance to consider myself. My family good for me. My best friend was shiny stars. Friend is my most precious. Sunny morning walk on glory. I want to go to a lot of Red Maple Place. Cell phone have to die. I feel love. Not immense but most comfortable. Good and nice. Little nonsense but very important. Not least it is love. Confidence can boost my tales about interesting imagination that are very important to me. God should protect my family. I will say thank you. Love me. Give me a blue blue way. Love a lot of interesting. No matter what happened, I trust you. Exist now. See most previous things. Animal, parents, friends family. You then feel love. Exist with previous things. My father was in first grade middle school on summer vacation. My father went to club and got me. I think it's impossible. It impossible to do trampoline. I was scared and worried but I got courage. I can do it. I don't give up. I get self-confidence. I do.

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