Tip a Word on its Side and See What Spills Out!

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SWBAT generate a word or phrase they like and use it to write an acrostic poem.

Big Idea

Creativity! Poetry is creating Art with Words!

Small Groups

20 minutes

During the small group instruction that happens prior to the literacy block, all the students were working on language and vocabulary development to enrich their background for our poetry writing unit.


15 minutes

Teaching Point:  Students will write a particular type of poem by selecting a name and then character traits that describe the person in an acrostic poem.

First thing in the morning I asked the students to come up to the rug with their writers' notebook with their "I Remember" poems from yesterday.  I asked for volunteers to read their poems. Students were excited to share their poems. Students gave each other specific compliments on their poems.

After students shared, I showed  Poetry is Art to continue to build the idea that writing poetry is a way to create art.  I was building on the ipad commercial and the you tube clip from the dead poets society from yesterday's lesson.  I overheard a few students yesterday say that they didn't like writing poetry- so I am being strategic in how I sequence my lessons so that all students are successful and revise their thinking about poetry.  So they can have an opportunity to change their mind.


I will start the lesson with students at their desks. "Who has written an acrostic poem?"  I'm anticipating that several of the students will know what they are and remember writing one.  Then I will say, "Today you will practice writing several acrostic poems."

I have decided to use the leaders in each of my 7 cooperative table groups to impart the learning task to their teammates.  "Leaders, please come up and see me.  Students at your desks please get out your writer's notebooks and a pencil."  Once the 7 leaders have gathered, I will hand each one a copy of task card #1 .  I will have the students stand in a circle and select one student to read the first sentence on the card and continue going around in a circle until each of the sentences have been read.  I will say, " Now we are going to read the directions again together, so when you go back to your groups you will know how to explain the task to your teammates.  Have students reread the task card.  Ask for a couple of students to rephrase what the task is.  Ask if there are any questions.  Next, I will send the students back to their seats to lead their cooperative groups in task #1.


Independent writing

10 minutes

I will send the leaders back to their tables to share the task card with their group members.  I will observe the leaders in their roles and coach where necessary. I am anticipating the leaders will either read the task card or tell in their own words what the task is.  I will tell students they have 10 minutes to write an acrostic poem.  As students are working, I anticipate they will need some support with certain letters.  I will have dictionaries and thesauri ready.  I will also have a list of character traits on hand.  I will pass them out as needed. 

I will monitor student progress, and if students finish before the ten minutes, I will encourage them to add to their words or start a new poem.

When most students are finished and when the ten minutes is up I will quickly gather the leaders on the rug in a standing circle.  This way I can keep one eye on the class as I hand out task card #2 to the leaders.  I will lead this same as task 1 and send leaders off to explain second task.

Students will write a second acrostic using the word respect.  After students have finished their second poem I will bring students to the rug to share.

Share Out on Rug

10 minutes

I will bring students to the rug to sit in a circle to share their poems.  Students may put their poem under doc cam and read it or just read it. (Sometimes a student is shy to put their writing under the doc cam because of their spelling, handwriting, etc.)  I make sure that I allow students to share in a way that is comfortable for them.  Students will be listening for specific details to compliment each on.

Name Acrostic

Respect Acrostic

I'll soon have a new baby sister!

Compliment students:

Say, "Students, today you did a great job writing your name acrostic poems.  It was smart of you to use the character traits resource to find just the right character trait the person you wrote your poem about!   On the second poem you wrote about respect, you showed that you really understand what the word means."

Pre-exposure for tomorrow:  Tomorrow you will write another acrostic poem. We now what the word elaboration means, right?  ( kids will say yes..it means to add more words..)

Tomorrow when you write your acrostic poem, I want to encourage you to write more- elaborate each line to be a phrase or sentence.  Today, a ot of you wrote just one word.  Tomorrow I want you to elaborate and add more words! 

You will write a topic acrostic.  When you write a topic acrostic you think of a topic or a person that you are very interested in and then research that topic using an ipad.  You know how I love learning about the clipper ship era and clipper ships, right?  Let me show you my TOPIC ACROSTIC:  Clipper Ships!!

Read Poem to students.  

"Now think of a topic or person you would like to research tomorrow to write a topic acrostic poem using facts you learn in your poem. After think time, call on students to share their topics.