16 May 2007

Teaching Poetry Spring 2007: Lesson #9 — Acrostic Mothers Day Poems

Upon the suggestion of Max Schmeling, I had the students write an acrostic Mothers Day poem. How do you write an acrostic poem?
  1. Choose a word that represents the subject your poem will be about.
  2. Write the word vertically.
  3. Use each letter as the starting point for each line of your poem.
In the case of our Mother's Day poem, we identified letters in common names for mothers: mom, mommy, mum, mummy, ma, mama, momma, mother. Then we brainstormed positive words and phrases that started with each of the letters: M = magnificent, marvelous, most righteous. After filling the board with words, I set them free to write their poems.

Many got it, writing sentence length lines. Some just listed one word after another, and for them, I suggested that they identify what mom was "marvelous" at doing.

Mr. Schmeling worked more with them the next day before the poems were placed in their handmade cards. Most notably, he had them use the exercise to sharpen their dictionary and thesaurus skills. The results were astounding.

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