Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday Poetry Stretch - Acrostic

With the beginning of school underway for most of the teaching world, I thought this would be a good time to work on a form familiar to many. An acrostic is a poem in which the first letter of the lines, read downwards, form a word. I know it's Labor Day, but this shouldn't be much work at all.

ReadWriteThink has an acrostic poem generator you can try, as well as a whole selection of lesson plans about them. Bruce Lansky has a nice page for kids on how to write acrostic poems. For a more academic treatment of this form, read the Wikipedia entry.

For the last few months I have been working on a series of poems called animal collectives. Inspired by James Lipton's (yes, THAT James Lipton) book, An Exaltation of Larks, I began thinking how much fun it would be to write poems about these groups of animals. After a bit of experimentation, the form these poems took was acrostic. Here are two. Can you guess what kinds of animals are being described?
Lazing on sun-splashed rocks
Outstretched to warm their scaly skin--
Until danger approaches--when they
Nervously run for cover
Gliding, running, climbing, clinging
Escaping the light of day

Seas of spindled legs move
Through tidal flats, mangrove swamps
Awash in crimson, vermilion, pink
Noisily stretching, stepping, wading
Dancing on webbed feet
So, do you want to play? What kind of acrostic poem will you write? Pick a word that moves you and write away. Post your creation(s) on your blog and then leave a link in the comments. Once we have some poems, I'll link them all here.


  1. okay -- here is my contribution... totally taking me away from my dwarfed men ;) (and they get angry about that, you know...)

    happy labor day!

  2. Tricia,

    I love your acrostics! I'm sending you to three acrostics I posted earlier this year at Wild Rose Reader.


    Unicorn & Whispers

    Have a great holiday!

  3. Tricia,
    I'm finally participating! I hope that some more people come your way to add their own. My poem is called Rueful:

    I love animal collectives, by the way. There are two collectives for crows: a murder of crows, and a storytelling of crows. Guess which one I prefer...

  4. A little late, but hopefully not completely off the mark: