Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.
Creative writing doesn't have to be a daunting task for children. They can have fun with it; especially if that writing involves poetry. Acrostic poetry reading and writing can offer children a fun way to hone their skills - as well as learn new creative ways - to express themselves. It's a play of letters and words in which children can create rhymes, rhythms and stories. All they need is the letters in a name (theirs or others), pen and paper, and some help from the Internet.
The Internet is proving to be a valuable resource for young writers. This is particularly true for those who are interested in creating acrostic poems. Several sites are dedicated to acrostic poetry. These sites offer tutorials on writing the poems, samples, and opportunities to publish the finished product.
Acrostic poems are poems of various forms created by using the letters of a single word written vertically to start a line of poetry written horizontally. Often the poet will use his or her name. The good acrostic poems generally have a theme associated with that special word. Here's an example:
S - Sometimes serious, sometimes silly.
A- Always Alert and Active
M- Magnificent, but messy.
— Maria Backus, 1997
Read, Write, Think
So where does one go online to learn more about poetry? One place that can help is a site dedicated to English teachers who want to share their lesson plans. National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) offers a lesson plan for acrostic poems on its website, readwritethink.org. The plan is designed to be 50 minutes long and geared toward 2nd grade students. This site is more accessible for parents or teachers, as well.
The other sites that can offer more direct help to children are:
- Giggle Poetry;
- Acrostic Poems for Children, Teachers and other Poets. (www.holycross.edu/department/soant/dhummon/acrostic).
- The Teacher's Guide (for templates) at www.theteachersguide.com
Giggle Poetry is a huge site. Not only does it have information and samples of acrostic poetry, it has tutorials on other forms of poetry and a reader-rating system (to judge the humor or "giggle factor" of a poem). It offers newsletters, course or lessons on fiction writing, and has a section in which a particular poet is featured. In Ask a Poet, the child can ask the poets questions pertaining to their work.
The section "Poet Class" is where children can learn more about writing different genre of poetry. In this section, poet Bruce Lansky has an article titled, "How to Write Acrostic Poems."
For all its usefulness, Giggle Poetry doesn't offer students the opportunity to publish on its site. This is a blemish on an otherwise invaluable site.
Simple Cheap Coffee Please ?
(example of Acrostic in Action)
Opulent coffee drinks
Fancy and trendy café. Thus,
Early one morning, I
Entered a hole-in-the-wall place,
Small but cozy it was.
Original cups of Joe offered for the
Perfect price - for the caffeine fix I desire.
Acrostic Poems for Children, Teachers and other Poets
However, the acrostic poetry site from Holy Cross College in Worchester, Mass. Does. Acrostic Poems for Children, Teachers and other Poets is a site created by Professor David Hummon of the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Here, on different links, he gives a brief summary of structure and rules of an acrostic poem. Also, he offers information and links to various books (mostly animal tale) that used Acrostics. However, the best part of his site is that it gives children and teachers a chance to be publish. He offers the rules and directions for submitting the poems along with two separate links where writers can post them: one for teachers and the other for students. The submission becomes a collection for anyone to peruse.
There are many sites dedicated to poetry for children. Most of them are written by teachers who have lesson plans pertaining to acrostic poems. There are also a few sites that have one page dedicated to the various types of poetry in existence that a child can use; however these sites are small and sometimes too brief. NCTE sites offered a good lesson plan. Giggle Poetry and David Hummon's site added more. On top of that, the two appear to be written with its intended audience in mind; the children.
How to Write Acrostic Poem?
Another Acrostic poem by Author of Article
- The "One, Two, Three, Four" thoughts on Love and Family: An Acrostic Poem
A poem about numbers and their relation to relationships and families. Plus, some information on Acrostic poems.
Acrostic Poem Samples
© 2014 Dean Traylor
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 06, 2014:
It's an important task to get children interested in English, reading and writing Dean. I believe getting them interested in poetry is one way of achieving that and "acrostic" makes it more fun and simpler because it offers some guidelines to work with. Good hub and resources.