My 11-year-old daughter and I attended Books by the Banks in Cincinnati this October. When we entered the Author Pavilion, she rushed over to meet Chris Grabenstein, the author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Both of my girls were drawn to the book by the challenging puzzles that were woven into the story.
After visiting the Author Pavilion, we checked out the Kids Corner, which offered crafts and activities for the youngest of readers. We were at the event for about 2.5 hours, and the majority of our time was spent in the Teen Scene. My daughter learned to solder with Hive13. She made a greeting card, and by creating a paper circuit with copper tape and a LED diode, her hand-drawn Rudolph had a glowing red nose. We wore silly hats and posed in the photo booth–twice. She applied drops of alcohol ink to a tile coaster which resulted in a unique piece of art to display on her desk at home.
While she was thoroughly entertained, my eye was drawn to the Blackout Poetry station at the end of the table. I snapped a few pictures of the examples on display and grabbed a couple pages that had been copied for this activity from books by the authors in attendance. After the event, I contacted the Coordinator for the Teen Scene at this year’s event for permission to post my pictures. She shared with me the websites on which the images had been found. I encourage you to check out these incredible pieces of work:
A few days after the event, I decided I wanted to create my own example of Blackout Poetry for this post. I pulled out the pages provided at the event and read over the text, drawing boxes around words to form a poem. I illustrated my poem with Sharpie markers. Instead of drawing footprints on a beach, I could have chosen to sketch a pattern or design.
The words I chose to highlight read as follows:
wipe the sweat
inspect the damage
I know the path
I keep walking.
Any sheet of paper with printed words will work for this activity–consider pages from a book, newspaper, or magazine. Try different mediums to achieve the desired effect–crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paint. With Blackout Poetry, the possibilities are endless. This project will be enjoyed by school-aged children as well as their grandparents. I would love to see your work. Please feel free to share your Blackout Poetry in the comments section.