Writing Extension: The acrostic poem delivers insight!


Are there times when you wonder, “what is my child thinking?” Well, let me clarify...

Are there times when you wonder, “what are my child’s thoughts on a particular topic.”  (Yes, that’s better phrasing.)

I find that this question usually hits me around the holidays. While the pageantry, hustle, and bustle of the holiday season surrounds us, I have a desire to know, "what are you thinking?!?" I have found a great way to “tune-in” with acrostic poems.

In an acrostic poem, the letters that begin each line spell the subject of the poem. To write an acrostic poem, simply think of an event, person, animal, or thing to describe. Write the letters of your topic vertically. Beside each letter, write an adjective or short phrase that starts with that letter to describe the person or thing.

Here’s one example of an acrostic poem for Thanksgiving:

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Remember, this is a great time to review similes, metaphors, and personification.  Don’t forget, you could also discuss parallelism in writing. When you apply parallel structure, it improves readability and understanding. Why not try starting each line with verbs? Next time, start each line with nouns. (This is a great segue into outlining, but that's another topic for another day.)

So, this holiday season, I encourage you to have your children compose their own acrostic poem.  It truly is a fun, insightful activity for everyone! 

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Kim Shurley

Kim Shurley is a wife, mother, educator, and wanna-be rockstar. She graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock with a degree in Marketing in 1999. Upon her graduation, Kim joined the Shurley Team, where she collaborates on product development and promotion with her mother-in-law, Brenda Shurley.

Kim believes wholeheartedly in the work she does in curriculum development, which is why she homeschools her two children in the summer months using the Shurley method of instruction. After all, educating children is what this family-run company is all about.

In her spare time, Kim can be found adventuring in the mountains of Colorado with her family.