Acrostic Poetry for Teens, High School and Adv. Middle School Poetry Lesson

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Use the classic acrostic form of poetry to inspire your students’ creativity. This student handout includes advanced acrostic poetry writing tips, three excellent examples of the acrostic style of poetry, and a writing assignment. Also included are four separate themed topic assignment sheets, including popular film titles, U.S. presidents, characters from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, and noted authors of American literature. If none of these topics work for your classes, you could easily brainstorm assignment topics to go along with whatever unit your students are currently studying.

I like to introduce the acrostic style (students always remember building this type of poetry from their elementary school years) and use the excellent examples to model how students can take the technique to a more-mature level. After looking at the structure/rhyme/meter of the examples, I then host a lottery of topic selection by tossing all of the topic slips into a brown paper bag and having each student chose his/her own topic. When I use this in my American Lit. class toward the end of the semester, I have students build an acrostic based on a famous American writer that we’ve studied. The student who draws the name “Amy Tan” from the sack is always thrilled (“Just a six-line poem? Yes!”), while the student who chooses “Ralph Waldo Emerson” has a bit more work to do and receives condolences from classmates. The lottery aspect, I’ve found, increases the drama and fun spirit of the assignment.

I’ve included four different pages of assignment themes you could use, but this lesson really could complement any unit of study. Just create topic slips, have students choose one from the bag, and watch your young poets get to work.

This poetry activity is achievable for reluctant writers while still challenging for your more-advanced students. I also like to reserve the computer lab on my campus for the writing time, since acrostics just beg for distinct font and formatting treatments.

This 5-page PDF product includes:
One-page student assignment handout
Four pages of themed assignment slip topics (popular films, American writers, U.S. presidents, characters from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet) – just choose the one that best fits your class or make your own!

This item is also included in my full, 4-week poetry unit. Click HERE to check out my money-saving poetry lesson bundle. If you purchase the bundle, there's no need to buy this item separately.

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Total Pages
5-page PDF
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
45 Minutes

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Acrostic Poetry for Teens, High School and Adv. Middle Sch
Acrostic Poetry for Teens, High School and Adv. Middle Sch
Acrostic Poetry for Teens, High School and Adv. Middle Sch