There’s something positively thrilling about carrying a pristine bundle of brand new books into your classroom library, introducing them for the first time to wide-eyed students, then seeing this exuberance repeated multiple times — hopefully over many years — on the faces of countless students as they read a great book for the first time. Despite gallant efforts of classroom teachers to prolong their existence, there comes a point in the life of every classroom library book when it is finally time to say goodbye. Where do good books go to live out their final days? If you’re like me, discarding a once valued member of our classroom into the trash is simply not an option. Once their covers are torn, entire chapters are missing, and who-knows-what is stuck between the pages, create blackout poems to repurpose and honor the memory of old, worn-out books. Blackout Poems Stacy Antoville, an amazing middle school art teacher in New York City, first introduced me to blackout poetry.
• Literacy Projects for Secondary English Teachers