Wednesday, October 29, 2008

POETRY IN THE CLASSROOM - ACROSTIC POEMS

Children love writing acrostic poems. You know, the poems where you write a word vertically and come up with a word or phrase that starts with each of the letters in the vertical word...

Joyful
Intelligent
Laughter
Love
© Jill Corcoran 2009

Acrostics are wonderful 'gift poems' for Mother's Day, Father's Day, School Spirit Day, etc. They can simply describe the subject of the poem, or they can do much, much more: evoke emotion, tell a story, be placed at the beginning of a report to create interest and invite us to keep reading, etc.

When I teach acrostics in the classroom, I start by showing the students a couple of poems that I have written...

Here's one I wrote when I was trying to express what poetry means to me:

Purposeful
Observations
Energize
My
Soul
© Jill Corcoran 2009

And here is one about my 140 lb. pup:

Tail-wagging, tongue-lick'n, 140 pounds
Of labrador energy
Begs for my attention 24/7. Thank
You Southern California Lab Rescue!
© Jill Corcoran 2009

First things first, I explain that you don't just pull out a dictionary and look for words that start with the letter you are working with, but you must think about your subject and write down characteristics, special memories, and/or how the subject makes you feel, without thought to what letter their ideas start with.

Then I work with the students to write a group acrostic on the white board or poster board using their teacher's last name as the subject-- kids love this! The students call out characteristics and memories they have about their teacher.
  • fun
  • says Good Morning to each one of us as we walk in the room
  • brown eyes
  • black hair
  • loves cats, earth science and running
  • loves stickers
  • encouraging
  • upbeat
  • Witch for Halloween
  • scared of spiders but loves snakes
  • stays in from reccess to help us with our homework
  • hums when she writes notes to herself, and doesn't know she is humming
Once we have a list on the board we work together to write their teacher's acrostic.

Next, I either direct their subject (Mother's Day, Father's Day, School Name, Report Topic) or let them go wild with choosing a subject of their liking.

OK, be brave my readers...anyone want to post their name in an acrostic?

7 comments:

  1. I loved teaching poetry in the classroom!!! Wonderful acrostic examples...I"m off to try my name..I"ll be back!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay...here's my rough draft of an acrostic:
    Kisses her children who are her
    Everything
    Life with them is unpredictable and exhilerating.
    Loving them is unmatched and powerful.
    Years of happiness with my family of five.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great acrostic, Kelly. You sound like and amazing mom!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like acrostic poems! It seems like acrostics and haikus are the most accessible for non-poets and kids.

    ReplyDelete
  5. sruble - you are right. acrostics and haikus are a great way to get kids to have fun with words.

    Really, who hasn't written an acrostic in their elementary lifetime?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just about
    Every animal
    So delightfully
    Satisfies my Lonliness
    In which
    Case is
    Always Needed

    I'm a 14 year old deaf girl who attends Mt. Baker High School in Washington. I often struggle in school but i always try my hardest and this poem caused my teacher to cry. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your poem is beautiful, Anonymous. Thank you so much for sharing.

    And keep writing. You are wonderfully talented!

    ReplyDelete

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