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ERIC Number: EJ1080704
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0143
Engaging Honors Students through Newspaper Blackout Poetry
Ladenheim, Melissa
Honors in Practice, v10 p45-53 2014
This article describes the author's attempt to convince her students that poetry can be "their thing," and also show them how much it can shape the way they think about the world and their place in it. In this article Melissa Ladenheim describes the technique known as "newspaper blackout" poetry. The exciting thing about this technique is that by destroying writing, you create new writing to express your own personal vision. Any newspaper article will work as, in fact, will any piece of writing. The point is that you have only the words, letters, punctuation, and spaces in the chosen piece to work with. With the selected newspaper article, a permanent marker, and a charge to create a poem on love, with no particular kind of love specified, students went to work. The results were a range of poems with a range of quality. More importantly, though, what emerged from the exercise was a pattern in the words chosen by the students. Like critical thinking, newspaper blackout poetry is a process of revelation, an uncovering of meaning. Pedagogically, blackout poetry makes students active participants in the construction of knowledge and understanding, one of the core objectives of honors education (Slavin 16); the honors classroom then becomes a model for "taking intellectual risks" (15) that build analytical skills and critical knowledge transferable to other course work.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A