Activity Types: Acrostic Poetry

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What is Acrostic Poetry?

Dictionary.com describes an acrostic as "a sequence of written lines in which particular letters, usually the first letter of every line, form an independent word or phrase." (Check out the definition at the Wikipedia!)

Acrostics are commonly used in name poetry, or a simple poem created by taking a word, or name, and using each letter of the word to list adjectives describing that object. For example, if we wish to write an acrostic poem describing Chris. Each letter of the word "Chris" is followed by two or three adjectives that describe Chris and begin with the appropriate letter. This same type of writing can be used to describe any noun--an especially useful technique for developing vocabulary and conceptual knowledge in science and math.

Advantages for use in the classroom:

  • Excellent method for teaching parts of speech

  • Vocabulary development

  • Encourages use of thesaurus to locate synonyms

Disadvantages for use in the classroom:

  • Number of adjectives per letter of word must be age-appropriate

Example: Chris

See Online Acrostic Tool from ReadWriteThink.org

Other Examples at Acrostic Poems

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project


Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu