Blocked Out Poetry


Blocked Out Poetry (inspired by poet Alicia Cook’s Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back)



Online, blended, or in-person participants. Helps reduce stress and tension due to a low-entry creative activity. The text is already written and asks the participant to invent a new poem/passage/lyrics from that content.



Depending on size, 15 - 20 minutes.


  1. Give a disclaimer:  What you make matters. There is no right or wrong way to be creative
  2. Give students a poem or passage.
  3. Show them an example.
  4. Let them know, that you can blackout or cross out as much or as little of what they want. 
  5. Participants getting started has 3 parts: 
    1. Give adequate time to first read the passage one time through.
    2. Recommend participants first underline areas before crossing or blacking out text.
    3. Give the most time to blocking out text.
  6. Reconvey the group for a debrief/read-aloud. Tip: consider snapping your fingers after each reading.



  • Online students Google Docs with pre-populated text passages. Ask them to make a copy and use the highlight feature to blackout text.
  • Make it collaborative and pair up students.
  • Consider specific or related content from your course.



  • Give students a choice of passages or assign one poem/lyrics/passage.
  • Ask participants to re-create a new meaning.

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