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Speech-Language Activity of the Week: Blackout Poetry

by Heidi Kay
Just before the holiday, I was looking at the profile of one of our new Instagram followers and noticed that he was in fact a poet who specialized in a form called “Blackout Poetry,”  where you use a page of text (most commonly from a newspaper) and black out the words to form poems that are both meaningful and also visually appealing.
Anyway, the second I looked at these, I thought that they would make a great activity for middle school and high school speech-language students!  All you need is a box of markers and a couple of newspapers.   Here are a few examples I found on the Internet:
Source:  Austin Kleon,, and Unknown
Not being a speech-language clinician myself, I posted about this on the HS-SLP group on Facebook, and asked for suggestions on how you might use this idea in the classroom.
A quick search for blackout poetry on Pinterest turned up hundreds of great examples! and even a search for “students’ blackout poetry on Google Images Turned up these (be careful sharing these broad searches with your students, as some have adult content)
Interested in Learning More About Blackout Poetry?
Read a Lesson Plan for Blackout Poetry on Slideshare
Read a Blog Post on Blackout Poetry on Literacy Everywhere
Read Austin Kleon’s Book That has Inspired Many Teachers to Try It..
One Teacher’s Experience in her Classroom using Blackout Poetry
How will YOU use it?  Please Comment Below and Share!

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