Saturday, May 10, 2014

Writing Acrostic Poetry: Integrating Subjects

April was National Poetry Month. We spent the entire month learning about and writing different types of poetry. One of the poetry formats that Alyssa (Age 6) enjoyed was acrostic poetry. She wrote acrostic poems last year as part of her Moving Beyond the Page literature unit study about Avi's book titled, "Poppy." You can read my Moving Beyond the Page review here. It was a lot of fun! When I taught in the public schools, the children in my class would always write a name acrostic poem at the beginning of the year.

Here's What Alyssa and I Did:
  1. We read examples of acrostic poems in books and online. Most of the examples came from the Internet.
  2. I modeled how to write an acrostic poem using Alyssa's suggestions. We chose "God" and "Joseph" as two separate Bible topics. I showed her how to add details and descriptive words to one of our poems in order to make it sound better. We also corrected any errors. This was NOT done in ONE sitting. It was broken into steps over several days.
  3. I told her that she was going to have the opportunity to write her own acrostic poem.
  4. I helped Alyssa brainstorm a list of possible topics for her own poem. Many of the topics chosen were based on interesting people or events she was learning about in school. This is a great way to integrate school subjects into writing lessons.  
  5. After choosing a topic, I gave her several books related to the topic to read. This helps with the brainstorming process when listing possible words related to the topic. She read several books about The Easter Story.  
  6. She began the brainstorming process - writing ideas down for each letter in the topic word EASTER.
  7. Alyssa wrote her rough draft the next day. She eagerly started editing and revising the poem.
  8. I reminded her to add descriptive words when possible. She clarified any confusing sentences that didn't flow easily. She checked the poem for punctuation and spelling errors. She would often use the books she read to help with spelling. For example, the word "ascended" was very difficult to spell but part of the word was in the book. Once she had the beginning of the word, she checked the dictionary for the correct spelling. 
  9. The final draft of her acrostic poem was written on a different day. I discussed the purpose of poem titles. She jotted down a few of her ideas for titles and decided which one she liked the most. She added the title "Easter Morning" to her poem. 
  10. The last step for writing acrostic poems is to add drawings or illustrations. I told her that the illustrations must relate to and add more meaning to the poem. First, I check our Draw Write Now books to see if there is a step-by-step drawing tutorial for her topic. If not, I will google online drawing tutorials specific to her topic.  
Alyssa recently submitted her Easter acrostic poem titled, Easter Morning," into a poetry contest. I absolutely LOVE this poem and appreciate how much time she put into writing it. Her final draft was written on raised primary lined paper. She colored, cut out, and glued the picture of Jesus to the page instead of adding an illustration.

Another acrostic poem she wrote was about George Washington. I modeled a poem about Abraham Lincoln using the same teaching steps. After completing her final draft and reading several more books about George Washington, she realized that she should have used the word "Revolutionary War" for the letter "R" in his name. She wanted to erase the entire line. I told her that she could write another poem about him later using any new information. I love integrating subjects! As you can see we can easily integrate Reading, Bible, and History subjects into Writing Poetry. We will often choose Science topics when writing poetry.

Has your child written an acrostic poem? 
If Not, Give it a Try!

I will link this post up at Share It Saturday.
Teach Beside Me

Thank you for visiting A Learning Journey! Visit us again soon.

Copyright Note: These are original poems written by my six-year-old daughter. Please do not claim them as your own. All content is copyrighted. You must have permission to use the content on this blog.  

God bless,
Tracey M. 

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to get kids interested in poetry at a young age! Thanks for stopping by my blog and entering to win THE 3-DAY RESET! Have a wonderful Mother's Day!