Poetry Challenge Week Four: Blackout Poems

 It’s week FOUR of the Weekly Poetry Challenge, and this week is all about blackout poems! A blackout poem is created by taking a block of text—like from a newspaper, magazine, or book—and “blacking out” everything except the words you want. Here’s a blackout poem I wrote: Created using the book MAKE BLACKOUT POETRY by John Carroll Read some black out poems! Here are some blackout poems by author Austin Kleon . Examples of student-created blackout poems . Check out this Pinterest board for more examples. Write a black out poem! When creating your blackout poem, you may to start with a pencil and circle or block around the words you want to keep for your poem. Then, once you’re happy with your poem use a sharpie to black out everything you don’t want. Blackout poetry is a great visual, but you can also type out your poem when you’re done to make it easier to read. Need a little help? Here’s a video by Austin Kleon on how he makes blackout poetry. If you or your kids write blackout poem

Review and Activity: Pairing Books with Stuffed Critters

by Trine Grillo

Do you ever wonder what books animals would check out of the library?

Would a giraffe choose tall books?

Would hyenas search for jokes?

What if otter needs one that is waterproof and geckos could only read stick-to-the-wall books?

In the delightful Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and Marc Brown, a librarian accidentally drives the bookmobile into the zoo.  To make the best of the situation, she decides to open the door and begin reading.

“In a flash, every beast in the zoo was stampeding, 

to learn all about this new something called reading.”

The more the animals read, the more they loved books. They read to each other and laughed and solved mysteries. Soon they began writing their own stories!

What about you? Do you have a zoo of stuffed animals in your room or a real live pet?

READ: Wild About Books


  • Can you think of stories your animal friends would like to hear?
  • What stories might be good for a stuffed bear? A stuffed frog?
  • What would your bunnies learn from Peter Rabbit?
  • Could Rocket teach your puppy to read?
  • Would your piglet fall in love with Charlotte?
  • Perhaps your tabby could write a book with Mr. Putter?


Gather up your animal friends. Try to match each one with a book they might enjoy. Find books from your shelf or take a trip to the library. Your stuffed friends are welcome there. Let them choose! Here are some matches I came up with:

Once you've paired your books and pets, find a cozy spot and read together. Laugh out loud. Solve mysteries. Discover secrets!


Read:  Mr. Putty and Tabby Write the Book by Cynthia Rylant. 

Discuss: How do you write a book? Could you do it?

DO: Think of a story you would like to tell. Write it down! Draw colorful pictures to go with it.


  • How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
  • The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
  • Peter Rabbit (and all of his friends) by Beatrix Potter
  • The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White


Mindy Baker said…
So fun! I love this idea!