Ideas for Teaching Poetry Structure?

Hi everyone! This is my first year teaching 7th grade ELA and in about two weeks, we are going to start our Poetry unit! I was wondering if anyone has any good lesson ideas and also ways they’ve integrated Formative and other edtech tools in a poetry unit! My students’ final project will be creating an anthology of poetry with Family History being the main theme!

I am new to this so I would appreciate any other help you can provide! Thanks in advance :wink:


Hey Craig, congrats on teaching your first poetry unit. Have you ever heard of TeachThought? It’s a blog with great teaching ideas. Anyways, I bring it up because I recently stumbled upon a great article about using technology to teach poetry (6 Tech-Based Poetry Ideas For Students That Hate Poetry). It features one of my favorite learning activities: Blackout Poems.

The idea is that you give your students a reading passage and they can use a dark pen to “blackout” all of the text to make their own poem! Here’s an example of one that actually doubles as a drawing:

I have yet to try this with Formative, but I could it imagine uploading a screenshot of a reading passage to the background of a show your work canvas and having students use the draw tool to blackout the text and create their poem!


Hey Ted, thank you SO much for the great ideas! I haven’t heard of TeachThought before but gosh, what a fantastic resource! I am actually going to try out Blackout Poems tomorrow based on your suggestion! Check out the formative I made!

I used the Show Your Work question type like you had suggested :sunglasses:


You are so welcome! It’s great to be able to connect with other ELA educators on here and I love offering a helping hand whenever I can. Your formative looks great and I really like the header image you included. I actually remember reading “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” in middle school too :grin: I loved it!


Hey Craig, we are about to start our poetry unit too. It’s super cool that you are focusing on creating anthologies based on family history and I thought I’d share a suggestion about where your students can publish their final products. In the past, I’ve had my students publish there work to a site called Figment ( What I love about it is how it runs poetry contests, which my students love. I also like how we can create classes there and students can discuss the poetry they’ve created in private groups. It’s great for after school, asynchronous discussion!

@Ted_Chang thanks for sharing TeachThought . I love that blog along with Cult of Pedagogy, which is run by a fantastic educator named Jennifer Gonzalez. That’s actually where I learned about Figment:


Thank you so much :grinning: I am checking out Figment right now!

1 Like

OH! I really like this idea to use the Show Your Work question type for Black Out Poetry!

1 Like