Posts Tagged ‘student acrostic poetry’

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In my classes this week, I introduced the ABCs of poetry. We have written a poem everyday using a different poetic form. My partner for two of these exercises was Read, Write, Think. This amazing site full of lessons for teaching reading and writing also includes student interactives.

For the letter A, we used this one for Acrostics. My students had free choice for the words they chose to write about. The interactive allows for brainstorming and also gives word suggestions. The final form appears as a downloadable pdf. I taught my students how to take a screenshot of the pdf, paste it into paint, and save as a jpeg. They uploaded their jpeg images into our Kidblog site.

Two very different poems above. Erin is a fifth grader. She’s been going through a rough time lately, so I gave her a wishing rock inside a prayer pouch that I had crocheted. Her poem grew from her strong desire to have her dreams come true.

Lynzee was writing from the moment. I had brought in left over cookies from a writing group meeting. She chose chocolate chip and this moment became the subject of her poem. Don’t you love the word voraciously? She is such an avid reader that her vocabulary is advanced. She loves using new words, and I enjoy our conversations about them.

Another interactive we used this week was for diamante poems. In this form, my students selected antonyms or nouns that had near opposite meanings. Like acrostic, this form allows students to explore word meanings. They looked for words that were specific to their chosen noun.

Lani, 5th grade, wrote honestly about her feelings around life and death. Andrew was reading a book entitled “Gross Science” so his poem explored the difference between beautiful and gross. We talked about how each one depends on a person’s perspective.

I hope you will consider playing with language by using these interactives from Read, Write, Think. Happy National Poetry Month!

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

National Poetry Month 2017

For the month of April, I have committed to writing a poem each day. I am not following any stricter rule than that one. Others in the poetry blogging community are doing themed poems. You can see everything that’s going on at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

On Monday, my young student Jacob wrote an acrostic poem on the word faith. He was surprised by his own wisdom. I told him that I think there is a whirl of ideas in the universe and he was open for it.



Thinking about Jacob’s inspiring poem and the ideas from the universe, I felt a pull to write a found poem from Bishop Jake’s blog post from Sunday. Jake Owensby is the Bishop of the Western Louisiana Episcopal Diocese. He writes beautifully at Looking for God in Messy Places about how to live a life of love and hope.  His post this week “Dry Bones and Living Flesh” inspired this poem.

Dry Bones

nothing familiar
fleeing home
to stay alive
they leave behind

Ezekiel had a vision
of those very dry bones.
The victors leave
the dead in an open grave,
a goldmine
of artifacts.

This was personal.
The baker’s daughter
he knew by her fragrance of yeast,
the grandmother rocking her grandchild,
the old stooped mason.

War is always the same.
Death, senseless, helpless
“collateral damage” No, this was personal-
husbands, wives, siblings, grandchildren.

Homes left in ruins,
People without community,
Dry bones
watered with survivor’s tears.

God takes these bones
clothes them
gives them breath.
God promises
through us
to be a new home
for the exiled.
Hear the call.

–Margaret Simon

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Keri at Keri Recommends

On Tuesday, I posted a Canva image that I had created with an acrostic poem about my One Little Word, Cherish.  Michelle Haseltine commented, “Such a simple poem and yet, so beautiful and touching. I am not usually a fan of acrostic poems, but you have me rethinking my position, friend.”

So I decided to make a case for the acrostic poem.


a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc.

I understand the argument. This form is simplistic and can confine the writer and stifle creativity.  However, if we let it, a form can challenge the writer to search for unique language and a stronger meaning.

This week, we worked on our One Little Word projects.  I showed my Canva acrostic as a sample.  We talked about words and synonyms, making use of the online thesaurus.  Type in your word and click on synonyms to find more words.  Some of my students took this task seriously and found new and unusual words, like vivacity and whimsical, as their chosen OLW.

Dictionaries were on hand for finding words that started with a given letter.  When Jacob came to the letter R in his word, Inspire, he read rainbow, and created the following line.


Some students stuck to the one word for each letter, but some created phrases.  Emily decided to make each line have  a simile.  This pushed her to think not only about her word choice, but also about what each word meant to her One Little Word.

Acrostics are simple, but it can be a good pattern for word play and a deeper search for meaning.



Kaiden oneword.jpg

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Poetry Friday round-up  with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

Poetry Friday round-up with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference


This week my students and I wrote about our one little word choices.  I encouraged them to select an image and create a Canva.  I’ll write more about this process on DigiLit Sunday this weekend.  Please consider joining the round-up.  This week we are sharing about OLW in the classroom.

My newest student, a gifted first grader, wrote this profound poem about the idea of selecting a OLW.

A word is like a leaf,

So fragile,

Everyone chooses a word,

At the beginning of the year,

Little do they know,

Their word is a leaf.

–Lynzee, 1st grade

This student selected the word “Astonish” which is quite a big word for her age, but she wrote a personal acrostic that helped me understand her choice.

Astonish (1)


My OLW is Present.  My student Vannisa helped me write this poem as I was showing how Canva works.

One Little Word

By Margaret Simon (with help from Vannisa)

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Join the roundup with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

Join the roundup with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.


I am staying true to my blog title and reflecting today. I discovered a student of mine has been writing acrostic poems.  Lani is new to my gifted class, in third grade, and works on math with me.  She knew the others were blogging for the month of March, and she wanted to join in.  Of course, I let her, and her mother welcomed the challenge by allowing her computer time at home to post.  With the crazy number of posts during March, I was not completely keeping up.  I thought I was until I saw this post from Lani from March 25th.

Since today is International Poetry Day for me… this is my poem…..

Hour long punishment
Expelled from school yesterday
Lectures from my mother
Practicality flunked sixth grade

My worst day ever
Everyone knows that I lied to get their attention

I hope that you liked my poem!!

This form intrigued me.  As I said, Lani is a third grader, and none of her lines were true to her, so I assumed that she was writing a novel in verse as a 6th grade character.  Here was another post from the same day.

Crazy unpredictable things have happened
Once I had a pig for supper
Maybe a dog would have tasted better

Inviting you is not a problem
Never a problem because I need a witness

All my relatives have not survived
Nor my family
Dad did not want to come in fearing that he will be finished

Sometimes I do not know how people can lie
Even if they are lying to themselves
Everyone thinks that I am lying and I am!!!

After reading this, I had to have a discussion with Lani.  I was wondering where she was getting her ideas from.  She didn’t have an explanation.  She just wanted to write poems, and she knew she was good at acrostic.  The only time she had written a poem with me was for Chalkabration, an acrostic about March.  I gave her loads of praise because it was a great poem.

I talked to Lani about her fictional character.  She made some notes in her notebook.  I encouraged her to keep it going.  Since this conversation, we have had disruptions with spring break and testing, so I hadn’t checked in with Lani.  These poems seem to get crazier and crazier.  Not everything makes sense, and yet, I think I have a creative writer on my hands.  I hope we can make time again to put aside the math book and write poems.  I love how she gives me credit for “coaching” her.

Ant=my brother
Reading maniac=my sister
Dare addict=my dad
Especially the hard ones
Sardines eater=my cousin
Tardy=my friends

Dummy=my other cousin
Arnold=my brother’s name
Extreme dare

Elapsed time:02 seconds
Ventriloquist people call me crazy (look at them!)
Even my mother! Listen to what she calls it!!!!
Ridiculous lying is what my mother calls it

This a poem for MY International Poetry Month. It took me a few days but I finally finished it. (with a little help from Mrs.Simon and some ”coaching”)

You can leave comments directly to Lani here.


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