Grammar Extension: The Empowering Acrostic Poem

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The ideal scenario for the first couple months of a new school year would be a classroom running smoothly.  You want to be comfortable with your daily schedule and know that you can meet the needs of all of your diverse students.

Realistically, some of you may already feel like the expectations and duties increase even more as the fall progresses.  Before you become consumed with the busyness of the new school year, always remember this:  “YOU are a TEACHER!”  You are the one that works to mold the future.  You make an incredible impression and impact in the lives of all the students who enter your classroom. 

This year is a brand new one, and if you’re ready to level-up your teaching, you should consider this question: “What kind of teacher do you want to be this year?” 

Here’s an acrostic poem to get you thinking…

T - Teachable

E - Empathetic

A - Astute

C - Clever

H - Heroic

E - Even-handed

R – Resilient

Did you notice how all of the words used to describe the word “teacher” are adjectives?  In an acrostic poem, the first letter of each line creates a word when read from top to bottom.  This word, of course, is the subject of the poem.  The purpose of the acrostic poem is to make a word or short phrase out of each letter of the subject in order to describe the subject.  Each line, therefore, includes an adjective or a short adjective phrase that will describe the subject in more detail.  

I challenge you to write your own empowering acrostic poem to remind you of the positive aspects you bring to the classroom.   Although this challenge is meant for you, you should get your students involved too.  

As you teach adjectives, Shurley English provides you with a jingle that includes simple information to help your students understand and remember adjectives.  The jingle reinforces that adjectives describe a noun or pronoun and asks the following questions:  What Kind?  Which One?  or How Many?  

Here are the steps to follow to help your students write their own acrostic poem:

  1. Think of an event, person, animal, or thing to describe. 

  2. Write the letters of your topic vertically, from top to bottom.

  3. Beside each letter, write an adjective or short phrase that starts with that letter to describe the person or thing.

  4. Write your final copy on construction paper and hang it on the wall or bulletin board.

For additional support teaching acrostic poems, take a look at this resource.