People Interested in Zippy and ZAny Zcribbling

PIZZAZ has been an Online Resource since 1995 from Leslie Opp-Beckman
For Scribblers and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)


Description for Headline Poems: Use popular media such as newspapers and magazines to create these interesting poems. Content courtesy of Iris Moye.

ESOL student level:
These activities scale well to beginner through advanced level proficiency and can be used with all ages.

For more activities:
Return to PIZZAZ!

Warm-Up Activities

Quick questions as "food for thought" for students...

  • What defines a poem?
  • Do all poems have to rhyme?
  • Why do people write poems?


  1. Students may work individually or in pairs or groups.
  2. Using the newspapers provided by the instructor, students skim for headlines which interest them. Do you see a theme or topic on which there are a number of headlines? For example: politics, crime, romance, natural disaster, the environment, etc. Note that the goal is not to read the paper, it's to skim for points of interest or "chunks" of words which express students' opinions or beliefs about that topic.
  3. Students choose a topic or theme and cut out approximately 10 to 15 headlines for that topic. These cut-out headlines will be phrasals. They should not be single words or letters and they do not need to be complete sentences. In this case, students are repurposing authentic materials in a poetric framework.
  4. Students arrange the headlines in any order that makes sense or states a message, and glue them on a piece of paper. They can use all of the headlines they have selected, or only some of them. They can also search for more to add, as needed and as time permits.
  5. When finished, students should title their creation.
  6. Optional: They can also include photos, drawings, or any other illustrations from the newspapers or of their own creation.

Follow-Up Activities (or Assessment)

Students' can be post their work in class and/or read it aloud to others.

© 2010, Leslie Opp-Beckman, Ph.D., Distance Education Coordinator and ESOL Instructor
Email: leslieob@uoregon.edu
URL: http://www.uoregon.edu/~leslieob/
5212 University of Oregon, Linguistics Department, American English Institute Eugene, Oregon 97403-5212 USA
Permission to copy and distribute for educational, non-profit use only.
This page last updated: 24 March 2010
University of Oregon