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

Ten Tips for Summer Reading

by Rebecca J. Gomez

We all want our kids to read over the summer. But, not everyone has kids who have to be told to stop reading and spend some time outside! So, here are some tips that might help you get your kids to read while on summer break.

 1. Let kids choose their own books. 

Choice is a big part of the "secret" to getting kids to read. So, let them choose. When my son was little, he enjoyed picture book versions of Spongebob Squarepants and Scooby Doo stories. He read a lot of graphic novels. He'd flip through books about his favorite video games. All of this was good reading!

2. Limit screen time.

Is this one obvious? It seems like a no-brainer, but it can sometimes be a challenge to implement when kids are claiming they're bored or you feel like they constantly need your attention. But bored kids WILL find something to do eventually. And sometimes that will be reading.

3. Have a daily quiet time.

For younger kids, consider having a set time each day during which your kids take a nap or sit and do a quiet activity. They could choose to read, color, do a puzzle, or doze on the couch.

4. Keep books around the house.

Kids will be more likely to pick up a book if they see a book. So, let your books travel around the house a bit rather than keeping them on the book case. Make a summer book display on the mantle or side table, put a basket of books in the family room, place a stack of books next to your kiddo's favorite toys.

5. Create a reading nook. 

Setting up a cozy spot that is just for reading could incentivize your kids to crack open a book. A cozy nook could be made of cushions in the corner of a living room, a cozy tent in the family room, or a snug spot in the crawl space under the stairs. Make it so inviting as to be irresistible!

6. Read yourself. 

Kids learn from example, and if you want them to be readers, you should be a reader yourself. And not just when they are asleep or out of the house. 

7. Read at bedtime.

It can be tempting to forego bedtime reading when the day's been especially long or tiring. But, unless you carried your kids to bed already asleep, try to keep up with the bedtime reading, even if it's something super short like one poem from a collection.

8. Listen to audio books.

This can be great for road trips, especially. And audio books can also be good options for kiddos who are more reluctant to read on their own or who enjoy doing things with their hands while listening to a story. And yes, listening to an audio book counts as reading!

9. Sign up for a local summer reading program. 

Earning tangible awards (for my kids, this was free pizza and tickets to a local water park) can be great incentives. If there's no official summer reading program near you, come up with your own. 

10. Combine books with summer fun!

This is the idea behind the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge. Going camping? Read One Summer Up North. Spending a day at the pool? Read Jabari Jumps. If there's something you do for summer fun, there's a book for that! 

We will be sharing lots more ideas for combining books with summer fun beginning this Friday, June 3! We hope you will join us! Visit this post to sign up and enter to win a copy of Federico and the Wolf


Download the printable Summer Challenge book marks for your kids to color here.

Download the printable Summer Challenge calendar here

Do you have any tips for encouraging your kids to read? We would love to hear them!