Black out poems…
Here is a neat recipe for an alternative assessment. We are working on industrialization and Mill Girls leading up to our poetry slam.
After a couple of days of research we took three books that the library wanted to get rid of.
We ripped out all of the pages…they loved ripping out the pages.
And then the kids “wrote” poems that summarized the life of a mill girl. I found that in most cases, the student’s ability matched how many words were blacked-out. Some came back with only 5-10 words not blacked-out, but it matched what I thought the student’s ability was. This is harder than it seems!
The kids “black-out” all the words they don’t want, and obviously leave the words that will make-up their poem unmarked. Each one took about 10 minutes.
The kids read them afterwards and explained why they “wrote” what they did.
After collecting some and reading them myself, having the kids read and interpret is necessary. Many were very symbolic, and how you read them can easily change the meaning of what is left on the page.
While they were working on these, that really cool “I am thinking so hard I can’t even make a sound silence” came over the room.