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

Poems from Our Childhood, PLUS Tips for Young Poets

 As part of our National Poetry Month celebration, the team here at Read, Discuss, Do! decided it would be fun to share some poetry from our own childhoods. Most of us have been reading and writing poetry since we were very young. We hope that sharing our own childhood poetry, as well as some tips that we've learned over the years, will encourage young poets to keep writing!

Marci shares a poem she wrote in 8th grade for a Mother's Day poetry contest. Isn't it sweet?

Marci's tips for young poets: Write about something you love or enjoy. Need inspiration? Go outside and write about the first thing you see. Make a list of words that describe that thing (I often make word lists), then use those words in your poem.


Rebecca shares a poem she wrote when she was 15 and fairly new in her Christian faith. The notebook this poem is in is full of a lot of angsty teenage poems about faith and love and heartbreak.

Rebecca's tips for young poets: What topics make you feel a strong emotion? A person in your life? A memory (good or bad)? Something in nature? (I used to write about trees a lot, and I still do!). Choose something you feel strongly about, and write about how it makes you feel and why it makes you feel that way. Think about how you can capture that feeling in the words of your poem! Like Marci, I also often make word lists before I start writing. I wish I had known that tip as a young poet!

Also, read a lot of poetry for inspiration! Practice by writing new versions of (or additional verses for) some favorite poems.


Laura shares a couple of limericks she wrote as a child. She was a very prolific child poet (no surprise)!

Laura's tips for young poets: Think of a poem as capturing a moment in time. It's a picture with words! Pick a moment in time from today. Then, using all of your senses, write down words that capture that moment. 

Also, play rhyming games. Foster rhythm by stomping or clapping to the beat of the words. Play with onomatopoeia by creating your own sound words and acting them out. Have fun with alliteration by taking turns making fun and crazy lists of words that begin with the same sound.


Coming next week: We will share some of the poems people have been writing for the Read, Discuss, Do! Poetry Challenge! This week we're writing diamante poems. If you're participating and your kiddos feel comfortable sharing their poems, you change share them here in the comments, on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge, or by emailing readdiscussdo@gmail.com. We hope to hear from you!