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

CAN I BE YOUR DOG? Letter Writing Activity

In Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings, a dog writes letters to various people on Butternut Street, hoping that one of them will be his forever family. Then, after a series of rejections, he receives a surprise note from someone who thinks he would be the perfect partner! This is funny and heartwarming, and it's the perfect book to pair with a letter-writing activity. 

Read: Can I Be Your Dog


  • Why was Arfy writing letters to people on Butternut Street?
  • What are some reasons why Arfy may not have had a family?
  • Have you ever seen a stray dog? 
  • What would the perfect dog for your family be like? If you have a dog, what makes him or her a great pet?
  • Were you surprised when you saw which person wanted to adopt Arfy? Why or why not?
  • When was the last time you wrote a letter or note to someone?

Do: Write a letter of your own. Choose one or both of the following options:

  1. Imagine that you are a dog in need of a home. Write a letter to someone who would be a good person for you. Try to think of ideas that are different from what's in the book. What makes your imaginary dog self special? How might you convince someone to adopt you?
  2. Imagine that you are a person who really wants a dog. Write a note to Arfy explaining why you  would be a perfect fit.
Bonus activity: Put your note in an envelope and address it with a made-up address. Then design your own postage stamp. Look at the end pages in the book if you need inspiration for your stamp.


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