This project is from one of my colleagues, a brand-new Honors English 10 teacher. She did a black-out poetry project with her sophomores as part of reading The Book Thief. She’s taking a temporary break from blogging, but if she gets back in the game you can follow her at Burgers, Books, and Betsy.
One of the most beautiful moments in The Book Thief is when a character paints the pages of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and writes his own story on top of the pages. We have been exploring many themes in this novel, but it’s safe to say that my students, and I, are gravitating to the power of words.
We discussed how incredible it was to take something so ugly, terrible, and corrupt and turn it into something beautiful, personal, and restoring.
We did that very thing, and it was such a fun and encouraging way to respond to the novel together.
Our news is ugly a lot. Picking up a newspaper can often be discouraging and our world is becoming a place that needs people to be the light, hope, and restoration. My students chose newspaper articles and turned them into something beautiful through the ever-popular “Blackout Poetry.” I was so impressed by their approaches, attitudes, and final poems.
I titled this lesson ‘Blackout ’til You Black Out’ for a reason. I am convinced my room will eternally smell like Sharpies and I don’t know if this headache will go away ever. Oh well, it was worth it, I guess!