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Teacher's Toolkit

Blackout Poetry: Eclipsing with words and images to Illuminate ideas

Science Scope—May/June 2024 (Volume 47, Issue 3)

By Amy Lannin, Jeannie Sneller, and Heba Abdelnaby

Integrating literacy practices in science classrooms can help students with reading complex scientific text, write arguments as part of shared cross-disciplinary practices and engage with content. In the Linking Science, Mathematics, and Literacy for All Learners program, middle school science, mathematics, ELA, and special education teachers have been implementing multimodal STEM text sets that include a range of texts and scaffolds that support instruction and students’ content learning. One of these strategies combines reading and writing in unique and creative ways: Poetry Writing! Black-out and Found poems are accessible approaches to help students focus on key words and ideas in a complex text, pull out those words to work with them, and then reconstruct them into a poem. This approach can be used in a variety of ways, and in some of the examples provided, students include an altered page from a scientific article on which students find their words, black-out the rest of the text, and then illustrate the entire document to help show their message.

Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Literacy Teaching Strategies

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