Connecting Poetry to Making and Design-Thinking

April is National Poetry Month.  Our students are creating a collection of poetry, writing daily, and choosing their top 5 poems to create a multimedia journal.  This will culminate with a Poetry Slam in May.

The writing process is definitely a mirror or reflection of the design process continuum.  Investigation allows students to learn to identify components and features of different genres.  Evaluation and reflection finds its way in the revising phase.

I took the idea for cut-up poetry from my knowledge of techniques of Dadaists and Beat poets, notably William S. Burroughs.

I showed an object to the class, in this case an orange and orange slices.

In a shared document, students added a word, phrase, or sentence describing the sensory perceptions of the orange.

I printed the document and gave copies for the students to cut into strips.

Then randomly or with some focused thought, students rearranged the strips in a layout that pleased their inner-poet.  They evaluated, and if they weren’t pleased with the results for whatever reason, they could engage in re-doing the pieces.  They then glued the form of the poem on other paper after adding designs that supported their poetry.