Due to Parent Conferences this week and next week I have some time off from school, so I thought, "What better use of my time than to audition a few art projects?" In the last couple of months I have seen quite a few examples of "found poetry art" on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a try. I used to do a different version of Found Poetry, where elementary students would cut out words from a page of text and glue them down to create a new idea as a collage poem. But I had never made art out of selected words right on the original page of text. I am planning to do this with a class of 5th graders in January, so I wanted to be sure that I discovered the pitfalls before taking the idea into the classroom!!
The example above started out as a discarded science text from our school library. I was a bit doubtful that a science book would work for this, but I was amazed at the words I found as I scanned the pages. Our librarian will be saving me fiction discards that we can recycle, but I think I will ask her to broaden her search, since the science book worked just fine.
I didn't anticipate how challenging this experience would be. First, I scanned the page, looking for interesting words that might go together (trying to disassociate from the meaning of the actual text). My goal was to create a new idea, unrelated to the original sentences. This is a terrific opportunity to integrate Language Arts and a discussion of colorful adjectives and verbs. It's tricky -- try it!!!
Once I found some words I thought might work, I underlined them using pencil (in case I wanted to change my mind). Here I used a marker so you could see the lines.
Next I circled the words I wanted to use and connected them with a line to make the thought easier for the reader to follow. This example actually came from the Sports Page of my morning newspaper. I think it helps to circle the words with a prominent color that will stand out.
One of the things that is so cool about this project -- it is VERY open-ended!! When I do this with students I will probably be using colored pencils, although other media would work too, depending on how absorbent the page of text is.