Teachingstudents how to write a meaningful acrostic poem is no easy task! They seem easy enough, but sometimes students try to take a shortcut and write just a word or two for each letter. When written correctly and with variety, acrostic poems are asimple way to get students excited about writing.

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What is an Acrostic Poem?

An acrostic poem is a poem that uses the lettersof a focus word, or phrase, to begin each line of the poem. The word or phraseis written down on the left side of the poem. Each letter in the focus word beginsa complete thought (sentence or phrase) about the topic, beginning with thegiven letter. All of the lines in an acrostic poem are written about the focusword of the poem.

Although acrostic poetry can initially seemlike an easy form of poetry for students to write, it is quite challenging. That is whyIalways encourage students to brainstorm carefully during pre-writing with apartner and use a dictionary to help find letter-specific words that they can use when they first start writing acrostic poems.
Once students get the hang ofwriting acrostic poetry the fun can begin! There are so many ways to challengestudents when writing acrostic poetry, making it easy to differentiate any acrostic poetry writing lesson.
Try one of these ideas to put a fun twist on the traditionalacrostic poetry writing activity and help differentiate your lesson or challenge your entire class
AlliterationAcrostic Poems: Each word inthe line starts with the starting letter of each line.VerbAcrostic Poems: Each line is comprised of verbs that can be done in a specificseason, holiday, sport, or place.AdjectiveAcrostic Poems: Each line is comprised of adjectives to describe somethingspecific.PersonalExperience Acrostic Poems: Each line includes a memory of an importantevent that is the focus word of the acrostic poem. Example: Field Trip, Graduation, BirthdaySpecificDirection:Be specific and narrow when you give directions for this type of acrostic poem.Example: For a “Friendship” acrostic poem, have students writeabout the characteristics that make a good friend on each line.Focus onNonfiction: Have students research something related to a topic. Example: Foran “America” acrostic, students can research Memorial Day or Flag Day, gather information and record what they learned in the form of an acrostic poem. This isperfect for biography and research projects, too. If you are studying endangered animals, have students create an acrostic poem for "endangered" and include all the information from their research in their poem.Fiction BookReflection: These are so much fun to write and offer the students a changein the traditional summary or reader reflection activity. Example: If you arestudying characters, have students write the name of a character from theirbook and fill in each acrostic poem line with character traits, feelings, andactions-all supported by examples from the text. It is an engaging way forstudents to show what they know! This also works well with settings. Have thestudents write the name of an important setting from a book and write theacrostic poem with the focus of how the setting impacted the story.Mixed Up Acrostic Poems:Each line has a different rule created byyou! Be creative and use your students" ideas and interests to guide you.
Acrostic Poem Teacher Tip: Create apoetry bulletin board for the year and simply swap out a new acrostic poem eachmonth. Be sure to hold on to each poem as you change out the bulletin boardeach month or season. Collect the students’ poems and create a student poetrybook to present to the students at the end of the school year.

Acrosticpoems are fun to write and boost students’ self-esteem and interest inwriting.
By writing acrostic poems with a twist, students will never tire ofthis form of poetry. The only materials you need are paper, pencil, and markers. So what are you waiting for? Get started today on writing different forms of acrostic poetry with your students. Your students will love it and it will greatly improve their creative thinking and writing skills.

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Lookingfor anacrostic poetry set to differentiate instruction or at yourwriting stations and centers?Click HEREor the picture belowto grab everything you need from acrostic poem templates and rubrics, to bulletin board letters for a year-round poetry writing classroom display!


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