One-Word Poems & Collages
(grades 5-12)

Inspired by artist Ed Ruscha and the teaching methodology of Beth Olshansky, I've developed this successful exercise. Students are first led through brainstorming which results in them choosing one word. I then provide the materials for them to make a collage which expresses that word. After the art-making, students write poems, often choosing to speak in the voice of their word, creating powerful personna poems. The first six images below, which also appear in the banners throughout this website, were created by the imaginative students in David Fuder's 8th grade classrooms at Francis W. Parker School, Chicago. The remaining images were created by high school students from Fenton High School in Bensenville, IL.

Click on the text to read the poems, on the image to view the collages.



"Barbie" by Noura "Serenity" by Nat
"Dew" by Marissa "Loneliness" by Karen
"Knives" by Matthew "Matza Ball" by Charlie
"Shy" by Tonnathiu "Diva" by Kari
"Future" by Omar    


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