One of my 4th grade teachers is doing a poetry unit with her students this month, and it got me thinking about Found Poetry. I was introduced to found poetry by author/poet Kami Kinnard at my state school librarians conference in 2014. Her method of creating found poetry involves reading nonfiction text on a topic, pulling out the important words and facts to create a word bank, and then using one of the elements of poetry (repetition, alliteration) or forms of poetry (free verse, haiku) to create a poem.
A great way to tie this type of poetry into the curriculum is to have students research weather using books, magazine articles, online encyclopedias, and websites. Then students can create weather poems using the facts they find. Shape poems are a particularly effective for this topic, but free verse or haiku also work well.
The following books provide excellent simple examples of shape poems:
Flicker Flash by Joan Bransfield Graham explores light in all its forms, from reading lamps to moonlight to flashlights to campfires.
Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape by J. Patrick Lewis (former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate) takes a more eclectic approach to the subject matter – with poems ranging from sports to seasons to animals – as well as with the mixed-media illustrations.
And I just discovered a book that explains Found Poetry in a kid-friendly way:
Found All Around: A Show-and-Tell of Found Poetry by Krishna Dalal gives instructions and examples of choosing words from newspaper and magazine articles, books, etc to create and using them to write poems.
Do you have other book recommendations, or poetry-writing ideas? Please share them in the comments!You can find more books and resources on my Thinglink Poetry page!