Blackout Poetry

Want to know how to create a poem in a creative way? Try transforming printed pages into your own poetry!


  • What types and styles of poems do you know?
  • What are important features of successful poems?
  • Do you have access to printed newspapers or old books?
  • Do you have other materials like a black permanent marker, lead pencil and coloured pencils/textas/watercolour paints etc.?
  • What’s the recipe for creating a blackout poem?
  • Do you need technical help from someone else?
  • Who will you need help from?


  • Have a look at some previously created blackout poems to get an idea of what you’ll be creating: Blackout Poetry Examples
  • Choose a page from the newspaper or old book.
  • With a lead pencil, circle any words that stand out to you or work well together.
  • Of the circled words, is there a theme or key message emerging?
  • Write the words out on a separate piece of paper – does it all make sense? Add/erase words to make sure it works.
  • Draw a box around the words you are keeping.
  • Blackout all other words with the permanent marker. OR you may like to draw an image that relates to the theme of your poem – using the image you draw/paint to block out all the words not included in your poem.


  • Review your finished blackout poem to check you like the poem you have created.
  • Share your poem with family and friends; you could read it out and show it over a Zoom meeting.
  • You could frame your poem and set it up in your room or special spot at home.
  • Perhaps you enjoyed this so much you’d like to make more?
  • What skills did you learn during this activity?
  • Could you teach someone else what you’ve learnt.

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