Found Poetry

First let's explore these links!

Now, with a partner, share what you've learned, think about, and answer these questions together:

  1. How would you describe Found Poetry?
  2. What techniques can writers use to create it?
  3. What about copyright and fair use?
  4. Is found poetry, poetry?
  5. Why might writers want to try the Found method of writing? What are the benefits?
  6. How does this writing differ from other writing you do?

The Assignment

For this assignment, you will spend the week collecting words, phrases, images, and text from a variety of sources. At the end of the week, or at the end of each day, post as many of your collected words and pictures as you'd like to the Padlet board.

We will use this shared Padlet of found words and images to create original poetry and stories.  

Part 1 - The Collection

Carry around a notebook or journal with you for the entire week. You can also use a Google doc or your phone's notepad feature - it's up to you! As you come across words and phrases you like enter them in the journal.

Don't think too hard about it - go with your gut!

  • Citing: You must write the source of the words. Example: "But for now it would have to do." (The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, pg 73). Example: "No bottles, no sponges, no mess." (Lysol Disinfecting Wipes Can).

Some Possibilities:

  • Excerpts from books, magazines, textbooks, news articles, newspapers
  • Words and phrases from posters, signs, advertisements, products
  • Words from homework assignments and handouts, school announcements
  • Text from social media like Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat
  • Photos of text work great, too! In fact, I'd prefer it!

Part II - Posting on Padlet

At the end of the day or the end of the week, post as many of your found text as you'd like! Remember, you MUST include the citation or it will be deleted. Make sure you replicate the text EXACTLY as you found it - even if you think it doesn't make any sense!

Part III - Writing the Found Poetry

You will use the Padlet to craft a poem using ONLY the words and images there. Select anywhere from 30-50 posts or images (with their citations)- again don't think too hard about it - go with images and words that you like, or find interesting or striking in some way. These are the words you MUST work with  - you can't go back to cherry-pick ones you think would work better for your poem. You don't want to select too few, because then you many not have a lot to work with - but this may present more of a writing challenge! If you select too many, then you'll have information overload. Look at all of your words. What ideas about the world are forming? Any themes? Do you see any patterns? Don't rush this part! Now, begin to craft your poem - . Remember - You CANNOT go back to swap out words!


  1. Look at padlet and select 30-50 entries with citations. Use a Google doc to copy and paste or use Notability. The order you write them down in doesn't matter BUT, these will be the words you MUST use. You may not go back later to pick other ones.
  2. Look at your words - do you see any patterns or ideas forming? Using the highlighter feature, highlight the words you like or find interesting (don't delete any, you might change your mind later!)
  3. Begin to craft your poem! You can mix up the order, use parts of sentences and phrases, put in images, whatever! Use Notability to move text around easily. Make sure you add your citations to the bottom as you assemble your poem!
  4. Don't worry if you think it doesn't make sense yet. Herein lies the challenge!
  5. When complete, screenshot your poem in Notability (with the citations visible), save to camera roll. Upload to the student work tackk page, below.
  6. Reflection - On the google doc, import your poem's image and write a reflection about the process and what your poem is about. Then, choose another student's poem and write an analysis of what you think their poem is about!