The process of creating found poems from a prose text that students are reading enhances students’ sensitivity to language and images. Creating posters with found poems asks students to match print text with visual images. This strategy can be used with either aesthetic or pragmatic texts, in situations where groups of students have read the same text.
1. Have each student make a list of 8 to 15 fragments from a text. These fragments can be single words or phrases of varying length. They cannot be complete sentences and they must be intact (i.e., they can have no words left out). Some of the most useful fragments contain an image.
2. Have students read their lists aloud in small groups. Ask group members to negotiate in selecting the 8 to 15 fragments they would like to use for a found poem created by the group.
3. Ask students to collaborate in arranging these fragments to create a poem with a focus chosen either by the group or the teacher. A focus might be a specific character, setting, mood, chapter, conflict, etc. Groups may repeat lines and may use an additional fragment from the text as a title. They may not change the order of words within a fragment. If they wish to delete a word, they must end the line and begin a new one after the deletion.
4. Ask students to create a visually pleasing poster to display the poem. These may be computer or hand generated (or a combination of both). Design may be drawn, cut and paste, borders, etc. The design elements and images should enhance the effect of the poem. In other words, it must be “wall ready”.
Revised 2/22/07 Pamela Lockman