Tag Archives: passive programs

National Poetry Month: Blackout Poetry

Last year, I celebrated National Poetry Month by bringing poetry to lunches for “Poem in your Pocket Day” This year I wanted to add to our celebration.

I gave study hall students a chance to stretch their brain by creating black out poetry. I really enjoy the examples Kwame Alexander uses in “Booked.” I was planning on putting the ebook up on the screen as an example, but as sometimes happens in the world of technology, my projector broke. I was really lucky to have the MackinVia app on my phone and surface and held that up as an example.


We used weeded books to create our blackout poetry. We started by circling words that described our topic or told a story. The results were incredible! We then put our finished products on our “poet-tree!” These poems were mixed in with actual poet books.

Overall, it was a super easy display to make, while still fun and interactive for our students!


Poem in your Pocket Day

I’ve been looking at a lot of public libraries that do “passive programming” lately. Basically, it’s an event or an activity that is put out on a table and people can make something, do something , or learn something at their own pace.

Since it’s testing season, I’m all about celebrating the little things. “Poem in your Pocket” day is a day that celebrates the inspiration power of poetry.

Working with teachers, I gathered a bunch of poems and put them on lunch tables. Students could read the poem, and if they wanted to be entered into a raffle, they could stop by the library and tell me about it. By the end of the school day, I already had a healthy number of raffles in my box!


I had lunch duty during 1st lunch and I was amazed with how well this simple program went. Students were confused about why there were papers on their lunch tables. Once they realized that they were poems, they read them, made some comments with to each other and pulled me over to ask questions. It was a nice change of pace for a testing day! The other teachers with lunch duty remarked that they had the same reactions from students.

Here’s where I found our poems:

  • Teacher recommendations
  • Poems to Learn by Heart compiled by Caroline Kennedy
  • The Library of Congress’ Poetry 180