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

Summer Challenge Week Six: Caring for Creation

Welcome to week SIX of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge. This week's theme is Caring for Creation. Now, that may seem like a bit of a downer topic, maybe a little less fun than some themes we've had in the past. But it's not meant to be heavy-handed or preachy or boring. No, we hope this week's theme encourages you to read beautiful, fun, hopeful books that will encourage you and your little readers to take the best care of our home as you can. 

Ideas for books to read:

  • THE MESS WE MADE by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Julia Blattman. This book is a rhythmic, beautifully illustrated story about the problem of trash in the oceans, how it became such a problem, and how we can change it.
  • ONE PLASTIC BAG by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. An inspiring story about the a woman who started a recycling program using the plastic bags that were littering her community.
  • BUTTERFLIES BELONG HERE by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So. This book is a little longer, so it's ideal for older readers. It tells the story of a young girl and her efforts to help the monarch butterfly, and how her efforts help her to grow and change too, just like a butterfly! 
  • CROSSINGS by Katy S. Duffield, illustrated by Mike Orodán. This is a really cool nonfiction book about ways that different communities have created safe crossings for the local wildlife. 
Ideas for things to discuss:
  • What does it mean to care for creation?
  • What are some things that you do to help take care of the earth?
  • Do you ever see litter on the ground? How does that make you feel?
  • How do you like to get out and enjoy the natural world?
  • What would you do if your back yard or favorite park got filled with trash?
  • How can you make it fun to recycle or reuse things you would otherwise throw away?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Take walks to help instill an appreciation for the natural world.
  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  • Make an art project out of repurposed materials. 
  • Plant a native garden in your yard to support local pollinators and other wildlife.
What are your ideas for a "caring for creation" story time? We'd love to hear about them! Share in the comments or on social media using the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.