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

Picture Book Pair for Sharing Love and Friendship

 Picture book pair posts are about showing how books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees and experiences the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives.

Today is Valentine’s Day, and that has everyone talking about love! But not just romantic love. The love of friends and family is a big topic too! Yes, this time of year love is a hot topic, but it’s a good topic to read and talk about all year long. So today we’d like to share two lovely books with a theme of love between friends. But love isn’t the only thing these two books have in common. They also both feature bears!

In Love is in the Little Things by Stella J. Jones, illustrated by Jane Massey, love is in all the little things two friends do and share together. This is a charming “slice of life” story featuring a little girl and her best friend, who happens to be a big, lovable bear.

In Love is in the Bear by Judith Henderson, illustrated by Nahid Kazemi, Bear and Bird plan to sing a duet in the opera together. Bear doesn’t get the part, but Bird assures him that they are still a duet with or without a stage. It’s a sweet story about an unlikely friendship that stays true through thick and thin.

Read: Love is in the Little Things and Love is in the Bear


  • How are these two stories similar? How are they different?

  • In each of these books, what are some ways the friends show their love for each other?

  • Each of these books features a bear character. In what ways are the two bears alike?

  • Think of a special friend in your life. How do you show your friend that you care about him or her?

  • List some “little things” that show how someone loves you.


  • Make a card or write a note to a special friend in your life. Send it through the mail as a special surprise.

  • Imagine that your best friend is a bear, and draw the two of you together doing a favorite activity. Here’s a tutorial for how to draw a simple bear if you need some help.

  • Are you musical? Take a cue from Love is in the Bear and sing a duet with a friend!

  • Be a friend to someone you don’t know well by showing love to them in some small way. Maybe you’ll make a new friend!

For more ideas on sharing love this season and throughout the year, check out these past posts: