NY Times Learning Network, Clean Print, Google Docs, and the Texthelp Add-on

NY Times Learning Network, Clean Print, Google Docs, and the Texthelp Add-on

The New York Times Learning Network recently publicized their Annual Spring Found Poetry Contest to celebrate poetry during the month of April. Students choose two articles and select phrases from each article to create a found poem. The contest is for students 13-19, and the Learning Network will publish students’ writing in their contest comment section. Using a few of my favorite tools, I wrote my found poem from today’s news.

1) First, I went to the NY Times, and selected a news story from the World news section and one from the U.S. news section.

2) I used the Chrome extension CleanPrint to eliminate the photos within the article and to send each article to my Google Drive as a text document.

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3) I opened each article in my Drive. Using the Texthelp Study Skills add-on, I highlighted phrases I found to be powerful. Once I finished with the first article, I selected the “collect my highlights” feature. My highlights were sent to a new document in my Drive.

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4) I repeated the process with the second article, but this time I chose a different highlight color.

5) I copied the highlights from the second Collected Highlights document into the the first Collected Highlights document.

6) I rearranged the phrases to create the found poem.

7) I turned off the highlights, so all a reader would see is text.

I have written found poetry with my students as a way to help with understanding of a difficult text and as a way to create a powerful theme. Found poetry is also an avenue to bridge creative writing with any content. There is something powerful about a text born from a text. The end result is often impressive. I have produced a found poem in a variety of ways. Today, I thought I would experiment with the process. I really appreciated the ability to bring an article into my Drive, and I loved the features of Texthelp Study Skills add-on: the ability to highlight and collect those highlights into a new document without copying and pasting one by one. I am not sure I will use this process to write another found poem, but I will most definitely use the extension and add-on together.

And now…my poem

After disasters wading into the raging river
allowed to live from dawn to dusk
rarely simple…
heartbreaking choices and impossible hopes
rights repeatedly have been significantly weakened
…soil poisoned
regulations are a patchwork utterly inadequate
not one of us actually wants to live here
dangerous ground
a powerful storm destroyed
restricting the right to build, to survive
ability to challenge
a matter of global justice
the power to prohibit
storm surges increase

“Governments Find It Hard to Restrict Building in Risky Areas”

“Facing Rising Seas Bangladesh Confronts the Consequences of Climate Change”