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

Five Outdoor Games to Pair with GIRL RUNNING

A guest post by Jessica Linn Evans

This week's Summer Challenge theme is A Sporting Good Time. Outdoor sports and games are a wonderful way to get exercise and fresh air while having fun. Some children have a favorite activity already, while others haven’t zeroed in on what they like best. Today’s featured book is about a girl that always loved to run.

Read: GIRL RUNNING by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Micha Archer.

This beautiful book is the true story of the first girl to run the Boston Marathon. Bobbi Gibb had loved to run ever since she was a little girl, but in 1966, It wasn't believed women could run the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon and were not allowed to register. Bobbi knew she could do it! She ran the race unregistered for three years in a row. In GIRL RUNNING you will follow Bobbi as she trains across the country, often in nursing shoes, through gorgeously illustrated pages and fascinating text. The Boston Marathon (first event in 1897) finally allowed women to register for the race for the first time in 1972. Bobbi Gibb inspired and paved the way for future woman marathoners. GIRL RUNNING is a delightful commemoration of her accomplishments.

  • Bobbi Gibb loved running from the time she was little. Is there an activity or sport that you like best?
  • Can you think of the name(s) of any famous athletes in your favorite sport/activity?
  • What are some new sports or games that you would like to try?
  • Who is someone you enjoy playing games with? Do you think they would enjoy trying a new sport or game with you?
Do: Plan a picnic at the park or large green space, or just head outside with family and/or friends. Organize some simple races and games and then ask the children which they liked best. Here are some ideas for simple games at the park—some will work for smaller groups. Other activities, like capture the flag, will need larger numbers:
  • A simple foot race: Be sure the start and finish lines are clearly marked. If you have several children, you may want to break them up into multiple groups of similar ages.
  • Three-legged race: Pair off children into teams. Or try parent/child teams! Have the pairs stand side by side and tie the nearest legs of each pair together at the ankle and above the knee.
  • Partner tag: The players that are not “it” or being chased pair up by linking elbows. When the person being chased links elbows with one of the partners, the partner on the other elbow lets go and is now being pursued.
  • Water balloon toss: Pair up an adult with a child and give each team a water balloon. Have the pairs stand equal distances apart. After each successful toss and catch, have both team members take a step back. The last team with an unbroken water balloon wins!
  • Capture the flag: Use handkerchiefs or hats of different colors as the flags. You may want to have a time limit in case neither team is successful in capturing the other team’s flag.
We hope this active story time idea will inspire you to get out and get moving with your kiddos. We'd love to hear from you if it does. Comment on this post or share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.

About Jessica:

Jessica Linn Evans is an author-illustrator and
 SCBWI member. Her illustrations are rendered with traditional media including watercolor, graphite, and ink. She lives in the beautiful state of Idaho with her husband, three of her four delightful children, and a bunny named Bucky.