Found Poetry: Found Around Me, Found By Me

The Project

This learning quest works to incorporate current event as inspiration and starting point for poetic creation using a found poetry format. A found poem combines powerful phrases and words from two or more texts to create a new text.  Through the design process, students reach a deeper understanding of their chosen texts. Students have to know the world to care about the world. The world always delivers a conceptual connection to our curriculum, we only need to enter the world to benefit. World events have the power to incite emotion, and that emotional connection serves as a springboard for writing. Found Poetry: Found Around Me, Found By Me invites students to make sense of the world around them, both past and present, fiction and non-fiction, to create for a purpose inspired by their interests and passions.


The Process

  1. Have each student identify a current event/news article that speaks to them. Students should find something they are excited and passionate about.
  2. Have students establish a purpose for their writing. Does their article make them what to educate others about a topic? Celebrate an achievement? Inspire others? Argue for or against an idea? Emotions evoked by the article should dictate the purpose.
  3. Ask students to research similar events or ideas in history, and identify one (or several) relevant text to their theme or topic. Students should be able to make a connection between the past and the present.
  4. Literature is a reflection of society. Fiction authors use their work to make sense of the world: its triumph and tragedy. The world often inspires fiction just as fiction often inspires the world. Help students find and utilize an appropriate fiction work that relates to their theme or topic.
  5. Students should carefully read the texts they have chosen, highlighting key words, ideas, phrases, and quotes that align with their purpose. Students can eliminate dull or unnecessary words as needed. It may be helpful to make multiple hard copies of necessary pages of the three (or more) written works that students have chosen so that they may write, diagram, and cut the words as needed.
  6. Organize your chosen words and phrases in a way that the tone and purpose are clearly represented in your final product.
  7. Make minor changes as needed so that the poem makes sense (verb tense, punctuation, possession, etc)
  8. Encourage students to think about visually organization as well, spacing, shape, and rhythm are important parts of poetry.
  9. Cite all original works that you include as part of your poem.
  10. Publish student work in a way that makes sense for the purpose. What the final published product looks like should be determined first and foremost by the purpose, but also by a conversation between teacher and student. Think about whether a video, written poem, photograph, or other final product might be best. For ideas and and resources for implementing technology into your product, we invite you to visit our Connecting Creativity Technology Resources page.


Connecting Creativity, at its core, functions on the ideal that student work, particularly writing, should be published and shared. As a teacher, if you already have a channel in place to share student work, such as a blog, website, or social media account, we ask that you share the link(s) to student work with us to continue to share with others. If you do not have a method for sharing student work, we invite you publish your students’ work via one of our channels. We would be happy to post student work on Additionally, if you would like support in setting up your own channel for publishing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Found Poetry

Found Poems Instructions

Found Poetry

New York Times Learning Network-yearly found poetry contest will launch in April

Library of Congress

Current Events

Ten by Ten

C-SPAN makes searchable transcripts of all programming available

DogoNews for a younger audience


Newspapers & Magazines

Historical Documents

Library of Congress

American Rhetoric

World History Primary & Secondary Source Databases



Poetry 180

American Literature Collection

Project Gutenberg

BookBrowse by Theme

Textbooks & Libraries


Chrome extensions like CleanPrint can also be used to save found text to Google Drive.

Poetics App combines customizable “magnet” words and images


Teacher Variations

Marcia Powell: I’m thinking about found poetry plus or or something, showcased on a Pinterest board and shared out to the community around a simple topic.  For example, if we are dealing with the theme of equality, I’d mix MLK with Fergusen or Harper Lee with Cory Booker and see what happened.   Let me know what you see as a result of this…great reflection tool for kids.