Lesson Plan

Tellagami Book Spine "Found" Poetry

Going on a scavenger hunt reading book spines has never been so much fun - who knew you could turn it into poetry!?
Kristin L.
Technology coordinator
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Students will be able to...

  • identify different types of poetry
  • understand what a "found" poem is
  • create their own "found" poem
  • learn about book spines and their history - as well as what books are available in the classroom/library
English Language Arts
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Start out with a quick conversation about poetry.  

What is poetry? (https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/terms-poetry)

What types of poetry are there?  (https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/glossary-poetry-types

Do they all look the same?  

What is a found poem or found poetry?  Found poetry is a type of petry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passags from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.



2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Creating

As this lesson focuses on both poetry and book spines spend a few minutes showing students what book spines look like.  Give students an opportunity to wander throughout the classroom or library locating book spines on their own.  

Google and or Twitter images of book spine poem examples. 

Spend some time noticing things about all of the poems. (examples: notice how some of them stuck to a particular theme or some started with a main line at the top and then other lines seemed to support the first line, or how the books fit together, etc...)  

Discuss THEME.  (https://youtu.be/9H6GCe7hmmA)

Tell  how you created your example work. I started with You Are My Heart.  Then, I walked around the room and searched the library to look at books to see if any of them had a title that showed what my heart knows.   It only took me about 7 minutes to find my stack of books.

Try not to give them too many rules, but here are a few things to think about:

1.  Spend some time walking and looking without taking books off of the shelves.

2.  Find a book title that speaks to you that might make a good starting place and then start thinking aloud about your poem with a partner.

3.  How can you incorporate what you have found into a theme to construct your poem.  What theme will you use?

4.  Try your best to use each book you pull from the shelves.  Something to consider - having students take too many books from their locations and not putting them back!


3 Guided Practice

Have students collect their materials and begin their creation process.

Differentiation:  allow students to work in groups or pairs.

Show students the Tellagami app giving them the basic instructions on how to create their gami.  Allow students to explore Tellagami on their own - it is the best way for them to learn.  Remind the students that their recording will only be 30 seconds long so they really must be ready when they are in the stages of creation with the app.



4 Independent Practice

Arrange the stack of books into a book spine poem.  You do not need to use all the books.

Take a picture of the stack of books showing the titles on the book spines arranged in the poem.

Open the Tellagami app.

Use the image of the books as the background.

Make your avatar to look like you.

Record yourself reading the poem.

Export/Save the “gami” to your camera roll.


5 Wrap Up

Publishing of work:

Upload your image to See/Saw or Google Classroom.

Have students view each others work.  If students are old enough allow them to critique each others' work and then work in pairs to "better" their work together.

Another interesting idea would be to have students write or blog about why they chose the spines they did and how they put those spines together within their theme.  Additionally students can describe particular details to support the theme of their poem.