Recycled Poetry


  • 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. Explainthe "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 stripssuggest a topic.
    Step 6: Use a process approach to write and publish the poems. They usuallysolicit 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.

Excerpted from

Themes Across the Curriculum
Themes Across the Curriculum
Karl A. Matz
Twelve thematic teaching units with over 50 teacher-led activities and over 160 illustrated activity sheets, reproducible bulletin board patterns, personal reading records, and content activities.
Students use words from newspapers and magazines to make "found" poetry. This is a great way to teach students about recycling objects for a new use; this activity is a perfect way to celebrate America Recycles Day (November 15) and Earth Day (April 22).
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