Each line of an acrostic poem begins with the letters of a theme word. The theme word should be mentioned or described in every line of the poem. An acrostic poem's objective is to demonstrate what you know about a topic you've studied, what you know about a character in a book you're reading, and so on. Acrostics are useful for creating a feeling of unity within a group of people, as well as for promoting awareness of an issue through its representation in words.
Some examples of acrostics include: Harriet Tubman's name appears in every part of her speech; Mary Had a Little Lamb has many themes but learns about kindness toward others; Nuts 'n' Bolts shows what nuts and bolts are used in cars; and What I Can't Forget I Didn't Do shows how memories affect us.
An acrostic poem is different from other forms of poetry because each line of the poem begins with the same letter, which is called an "acronym." Many acronyms are used in science labs to show that two substances should not be mixed together without careful thought (such as METHYL ISOCYANATE). Others are used in code names for things that might be confusing or dangerous if they were used openly (such ASBESTOS LIGHTNING ARIES TRANSFORMER CABLE); yet more exist solely as acronyms for fun (such as OLD HAT IN NEW HEAD).
What exactly is an acrostic poem? An acrostic poem is one that is composed of words or phrases that express a certain theme word. The topic word is printed vertically, and each line of the poem begins with the topic word's letters, making this a fun, unusual poetry style for youngsters. Most often, acrostics are used to encourage children to write poems about things they love.
How do you know what topic to use with your kids? Start with something simple, like their favorite animal or movie character. From there, you can work your way up to more difficult topics such as feelings or events in their lives. Let them choose the topic themselves - it's their poem, after all! - but do try to help them come up with one that isn't too personal or controversial.
Once you have chosen a topic, have your child come up with words that start with the letters of the topic word. For example, if the topic is animals, he might say "bat" and "owl" right away. You can also give your child guidelines for how many words should be used from the topic (i.e., six words starting with "a" followed by six words starting with "b"), or let him go as long as he wants. The only rule is that the lines of the poem must all begin with the same letter of the topic word.
An acrostic poetry is one in which the initial letter of each line, when read vertically, spells out a word, name, or phrase. Acrostic poems are presented to children in elementary school and can be a fun exercise during English Language Arts sessions. The goal is to have students think about the meaning of words by assigning them letters based on their pronunciation.
Example: Let's say you want your students to write an acrostic poem about dogs. You could start by having them list all the animals they can think of that begin with "d" (dog). They might come up with Dachshund, Dalmatian, and so on. You could then have them write short poems about each animal they listed. For example, one student may write a poem about his or her dog Charlie saying something like "D is for Dalmatian / C is for Clever / A is for Athletic". After writing their poems, students should share their work with the class. This activity helps students practice their writing skills while also providing inspiration for their poems.
There are many more examples of acrostics available online. Once students understand how they work, you can have them create their own. This activity is a great way to get students thinking about words and their meanings.