Acrostics are funtastic and help to concentrate on a topic in a wonderfully novel, personal and creative way. So super power your imagination and get your brain to love learning by using these flexible learning tools. Creating a piece of acrostic poetry is a highly effective method to really engage learners in the learning process. Acrostic poems consist of a composition of phrases whereby the initial letter spells out a particular word or phrase. An acrostic poem, therefore, might consist of four lines, the first beginning with the letter ‘L’, the second ‘O’, the third ‘V’ and the fourth ‘E’. This would hopefully be an acrostic poem about some aspect of love. Beautiful poetry can be created in this way about any number of subjects.
The writing of acrostic poetry can be a marvelous learning exercise as students focus creatively on the nature of their theme. What might be an appropriate subject for the creation of acrostic poetry? Here are some suggestions:
1) An acrostic for a name: a student’s own name or the name of a famous person: Mom, Grandma, Dad, Grandpa, Jesus, Shakespeare, Washington, Einstein, Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther King. Acrostics for names make fantastic and emotional or amusing notes for birthdays and special occasions of people you love.
2) Acrostics for organizations: UN, NASA, Shell, McDonald’s, BP, WalMart. Whether you want to make a political or promotional statement or just amuse your friends creating an acrostic using the letters of a company can be a great way to draw attention.
3) Acrostics for positive words: ace, adore, dynamic, energy, fizz, fresh, magic, munch, paradise, plum, soft, solar, spice, strong, tasty, trust, vital, zest, peace. A lovely way to give yourself a positivity boost is to generate a poem using a positive word as the basis- you’ll be concentrating on this word as you make your poem and your brain will react accordingly: you will naturally become more positive as you create your poem.
4) An acrostic poem for a place of interest Eg Pyramids, Venice, New, York, London, Stonehenge, America, Europe, England, US, Sydney, Canada, Moon, stars, Pacific, Nile, Mississippi. An excellent method for synergising the important aspects of a place. As with all of these suggestions it might be interesting to consider the 5 W’s who, what, where, when, and why; Who were the Aztecs? What occurred at Stonehenge? Where is the Mississippi? When is the moon brightest? Why were the Pyramids built?
5) Acrostics for beautiful things: flower, love, family, child, wife, husband, earth, sea, forest, pictures, stars, Internet, talk, sharing, snow. The stuff of wonderful poetry for hundreds of years!
6) An acrostic poem for actions: play, draw, sleep, jog, walk, want, try, succeed, help. To focus on what you hope to gain or the important characteristics of doing a particular thing an acrostic poem using the requisite verb as basis might be just the trick.
7) Acrostic poems for special times: Christmas, Mothers’ Day, Easter, Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter, five a.m., evening.
8) Acrostic poems for feelings or ways of being: able, cheerful, courageous, confident, determined, delighted, eager, energetic, excited, joyful, playful. An effective form of therapy might be to explore your feelings relating to a particular sphere of emotion. Again the W’s might come in handy: What makes you happy? Where are you most excited? When are you filled with joy?
All of these make highly engaging acrostic topics and no doubt you can imagine countless more; one reason acrostics are loved by poets, word fans, crossword hackers, puzzle lovers and students and teachers of all kinds. When you generate an acrostic poem you can make your theme clear, by emphasizing the initial letters which spell out the theme, or you might choose not to, being coy about your acrostic poem or perhaps sewing your hidden word or phrase into the second letter of each line. You may wish to use only one word per line: you might use a complete and beautifully constructed phrase, or even an entire paragraph.
Acrostic poetry can be formal or informal, many people take it very seriously: elements of poetry composition such as the use of iambic pentameters and so forth can be just as easily applied within the structure of an acrostic. Less formally some poets use the form for play and relaxation; many use it to produce personalized and loving messages. In part due to the flexible nature of acrostic poetry it is often chosen by teachers to introduce learners to the joys of writing whilst providing a practical, constraining structure; the skeleton, if you will, which students can flesh-out and create something delightful; or a creative monster! Kids of course, love generating acrostics and often do so with great panache.
Acrostic poetry has been generated for centuries to spell out religious messages and pieces of knowledge useful to know and meditate upon; it is even cited as relating to the origin of symbolizing Jesus Christ with an image of a fish. The reasoning behind this relates to story-telling: some structure to a story helps us to understand, remember, and recall and telling stories is one thing we humans are very talented at and have been for some time!
In sum Acrostics provide an excellent medium to think about and present a topic in a creative way. Acrostics can be applied to abstract concepts or otherwise, they can be usefully generated for names, organizations, positive words, places of interest, beautiful things in general, actions, special times (Christmas acrostics and Mothers’ Day acrostics) Spring and Winter and of course to feelings. Acrostics can be used in acrostic puzzles and games and the generation of acrostics is a great creativity enabler and brain expander as well as being a hugely fun educational tool. For the acrostic poem-maker many enjoyable hours await!