Reflection: Complex Tasks The Acrostic: A New Look at an Old Friend - Section 1: Hello, Old Friend!! Meet My New Friend!!


When I was a young teacher, I would occasionally have students write acrostic poems.  I never really found the educational value in it because J is for Joyful didn't really seem to teach the students anything.  I kind of abandoned acrostic poems until I started doing interactive student notebooks.  I then began to have students write acrostic poems about a topic and provide textual support for the words they chose to represent the letters in the topic.  For example, last year, I had my 4th graders write acrostic poems for historic Ohio Indian tribes.  They couldn't just write I is for Indian.  They had to write a sentence of fact that began with the letter I.  What I found was that student vocabulary HAD to expand because they had to look up words that began with a specific letter and then provide text evidence to correspond to that letter.  My students knew a lot of information about their tribes just from this one activity.

My hope with Snowflake Bentley's acrostic is that students not only learn information about him, but that the list of character traits they can draw upon increases and their inferential skills increase as well as they search for the corresponding evidence to support the words they just discovered.  

  Reflection: Thoughts on Acrostics
  Complex Tasks: Reflection: Thoughts on Acrostics
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The Acrostic: A New Look at an Old Friend

Unit 13: Let It Snow!! Analyzing Snowflake Bentley
Lesson 9 of 13

Objective: SWBAT compose an acrostic poem using evidence from the text to support the traits they choose.

Big Idea: Understanding character traits and motives is a key foundational skill to understanding fiction itself.

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