I love using acrostic poems in a variety of ways. Many teachers incorporate them into their poetry units or use them as a fun filler activity during special school days or holidays. But they can be used for so much more. Acrostic poems can help improve reading skills, writing, vocabulary development, and topic comprehension. Click HERE to grab my freebie that contains a template for a “President” acrostic poem, along with idea cards for each letter in the word “President.”
Different ways to use acrostic poems in your classroom:
Here are some ways you can use acrostic poems in your classroom.
⇢ Use them to activate schema. Ask students to write what they know about presidents (this can be about presidents in general, or a specific president).
⇢ Use them to synthesize the most important information about a topic. Ask students to choose only one word per letter (nouns, verbs, adjectives) to best represent the topic. This requires students to synthesize information since they are limited to the number of words they can use to describe the topic.
⇢ Use them to reinforce poetry skills. Ask students to write in phrases that capture the topic both literally and figuratively. Some lines might contain only one word, and others might contain short phrases. You can even ask them to rhyme their lines. There is a lot of flexibility and freedom in this approach.
⇢ Use them to reinforce proper writing technique. Ask students to make each line a compete sentence, or to write the entire poem so that when it is read top to bottom, it creates one complete sentence. This approach is like putting together a puzzle and can be very challenging and rewarding for kids.
⇢ Use them to enhance vocabulary. Use the cards provided and challenge students to choose a word from each card to incorporate into their poem. There are words on the cards that students do not likely use in their everyday writing, so it encourages them to learn and use new terms.
⇢ Use them as informal assessment. After a lesson on the topic, ask students to use the acrostic poem template to write about what they learned in a creative way.
⇢ Use them as a collaborative activity or game. Encourage students to work in pairs and/or teams to write a poem together. They can take turns writing a part of the poem, or they can work together to write the entire thing.
What other fun ways do you like to use acrostic poems in your classroom? If you use this freebie, I’d love to see it in action! Tag me on Instagram @tealpencil.