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Found Poems with Rebecca Behrens

I’m so excited because today we’re going to look at how to create Found Poems with Rebecca Behrens, author of Summer of Lost and Found, When Audrey Met Alice, and the Last Grand Adventure. Why create Found Poems? Rebecca believes they help us understand what is happening in a story or book to help find the theme.

How to Create Found Poems

Found Poems is a creative way to reinforce the meaning of key vocabulary words and ideas and to explore a literary work’s theme(s).

1. Each individual student chooses and writes down at least ten words, phrases, and quotations from their book such as Summer of Lost and Found. Students should cite this textual evidence with page numbers from the text, although citations will not appear in Found Poems.

2. Organize those ten words, phrases, and quotations into an outline of a Found Poem. For this and each subsequent step students could work individually, or could engage in a collaborative discussion with a partner or a small group to “share” or “trade” words, phrases, and quotations and then to organize them. Ideally, Found Poems will be tied to key words and important ideas in the text.

3. Return to the text and collect additional words to fill in gaps in the outlined poem that they just wrote. Remember, in Found Poems students can only use words that come from the text!

4. Resume and finish writing their Found Poems about Summer of Lost and Found.

5. Students share their Found Poems with the class. Students may do so by volunteering to read their Found Poems to the whole class, or sharing them with another student. Another option for sharing is to ask all students to write their Found Poems on large posters, which can be hung up throughout the classroom. Afterward, students can walk around between Found Poems as if in a gallery.

6. Through reflection and paraphrasing, students review the key words and important ideas expressed in the shared Found Poems. In doing so, students are able to identify a literary work’s theme(s). Students may do so through oral discussion or written reflection.

The activities contained in this section particularly address the Common Core State Standards: (RL.4– 7.1, 2, 4) (SL.4–7.1) and can be found along with more resources in this Educator Guide. 

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Authors: Showcase a reading skill through your novel or a tip that develops writing skills. Click here to fill out the form. 

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