Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B: Blackout Poetry as Close Reading of Classic Literature #BloggingAtoZ

*Since I began the #Blogging A to Z challenge a day late and am determined to post every day, I'm doubling down today. Earlier in the evening I blogged the letter A: April is National Poetry Month and shared a student project.

Blackout Poetry: The Lights are on for Close Reading

Today I asked students to create blackout poetry for one of Walton's letters to his sister in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I find the letters the most challenging part of Shelley's romance. Blackout poetry offers a fun way for students to read the text closely in a creative way.

For an introduction to blackout poetry, check out this story on Austin Kleon, author of Newspaper Blackout Poetry:

The images below show blackout poetry from students, myself, and my student teacher as we black out Walton's Letters to his sister:

Mrs. N. Introducing Students to Blackout Poetry

Student Teacher Blackout Letter 3

Student Blackout Letter 3

Student Blackout Letter 3
My blackout of Letter 3


  1. What a great idea to engage with text to a deeper level - I'm wondering if I could use this with my Gifted and Talented writers (ages 10-11)? Lovely to have found your blog through the A to Z challenge - will be following you from now on for other inspiration.

  2. Of course. Feel free to use the lesson. It will eventually be on the Better Lesson website when my Frankenstein unit goes live. Blackout poetry certainly didn't originate w/ me!

  3. This is a great idea. I can see even young students being highly engaged by this. Thank you for introducing it to me.