Experimental artists have been creating blackout art long before Austin Kleon, but it was his bestselling collections—Newspaper Blackout (2010) and Steal Like an Artist (2012)—that gave us an idea: What if students used blackout art to introduce themselves on the first day of school?
First, what is blackout art?
All you need is a newspaper article (or any form of print media) and a Sharpie. Once you hand out the supplies, explain to your students that you want them to tell you one thing about themselves by blacking out all of the words on the page that they don’t intend to use in their sentence.
So instead of starting with a blank page and worrying about what in the world they should write, your students are simply eliminating words they don’t need.
Once your students are done, have them share their sentences with the class. And just think, it’s only the first day of class and already you have cool new artwork to hang on the walls!
If you’re interested in a few more creative writing strategies, check out three of our blogs:
- Storybird uses digital storytelling to engage reluctant writers
- Teaching Flash Fiction: A Novel in Six Words
- Helping Students Defeat Writer's Block: 2 Writing Strategies