Recycled Poetry

Grade Levels: 3 - 6


  • Students will write "found" poetry.


  • Old newspapers and magazines
  • Scissors
  • Envelopes
  • Paper


  1. Before beginning, explain to the children that they will be writing a poem.
  2. Explain the "blank verse" and read the example below.
  3. Then explain the procedure.

    Step 1: Clip interesting words from magazine ads and article titles.
    Step 2: Put the strips in a box or large manila envelope.
    Step 3: Arrange the children into pairs or trios.
    Step 4: Have one child in each group take a pinchful of strips.
    Step 5: Use the strips as the foundation of a blank verse poem. Let the word strips suggest a topic.
    Step 6: Use a process approach to write and publish the poems. They usually solicit awe from readers who don't know how they were created.

Given the words:
blast, risk, hunting down, corners, beasts, brain, safety


My brain was once a place of safety.
Now it is filled with risk.
I must begin hunting down
The beasts in the corners of my mind
and blast them from the shadows.
A fifth-grade boy

Excerpted from Themes Across the Curriculum.

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