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We Tried It and Here’s How: Newspaper Blackout from @AustinKleon

on September 21, 2011

I posted to Twitter that I finally tried Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout with my writing class.

Newspaper Blackout by @AustinKleon

They LOVED it!

An awesome teacher, Kathy in AL, wrote to ask me how I did the lesson with my class.  She also reminded me that I’ve been on Twitter a lot, but haven’t put anything here in forever. Thanks for that, too, Kathy! I’m going to get back to this blog!

Here’s what I emailed to Kathy:

Hi Kathy,
I showed my 8th graders several of his videos to start.
Here are the links (I showed them in this order):
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec10/kleon_09-14.html
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/module_byid.html?s=news01n42cbqf22
http://vimeo.com/4037584
Next, I read several of his poems and showed them to the class.
We then did a few together on the smartboard (I scanned in a few newspaper articles that I thought would work).
We talked about how Kleon searched, skimmed, and scanned the articles for good words. We practiced circling words with pencil first–using the marker first was tricky (I found this out the hard way!)
I did a few of my own to show them.
Some kids really got it and others just liked writing with the black markers on the newspaper! 🙂 Either way, I think it was a valuable writing activity.
It did take a lot longer than I thought it would. I planned it for one day, but they worked on it for several days.
I’m going to scan and post some of them soon (in my free time *smile*)
I hope you try it. My students loved it! =)
Let me know if you try it with your students! 

6 responses to “We Tried It and Here’s How: Newspaper Blackout from @AustinKleon

  1. Kathy Brotherton says:

    Thank you so much for your reply and the helpful information! My awesome 8th graders will be starting this cool project next week-I will let you (and Austin Kleon) know how it goes!
    Kathy Brotherton

  2. Kathy Brotherton says:

    My 8th graders created Newspaper Blackout Poems today- they LOVED it! and just like you said-some students really got it and others liked writing with the black markers. But all were engaged in the lesson, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of each and every poem they created. I will be displaying their work on a ‘blackout wall’, and I hope to post some pics! Thanks again for sharing your lesson plan with me-Have a great weekend!
    Kathy Brotherton

    • Yay! I’m so happy you tried it. I have a new group of reluctant writers each quarter. I’ll be doing again with each group and hope to get better at explaining the process. I’d love to see what your students did!

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