W-I-N-T-E-R Acrostic Poetry in the Classroom January 18 2012

Around our fair region (the Pacific Northwest) this week, we've had some snow flurries, resulting in as much as 4 inches of snow in some areas of higher elevation! This resulted in non-stop news coverage of what I lovingly term, "The Snowpocalypse."

Yes, I said 4 inches. My colleagues in the Midwest, commence the eye-rolling - we deserve it.

Regardless of the ridiculous nature of the coverage of this weather "news," the rarely-seen snow around the Portland metro area has put me in the winter mood and brought to mind this creative and very simple writing lesson plan to complete with kids of all ages.

Winter Acrostic Poem

For younger kids, it's probably better to write one or more acrostic poems together as a class, using the word "Winter" on chart paper. Once explaining the concept of the acrostic poem, where each letter begins a word or phrase that ties in with the word itself, fill in the first letter and take suggestions from your students to finish. One weather-themed poem might look like this:

Winter Snow

Ice

Noisy

Thunderstorms

Expect

Rain

Granted, thunder isn't very common in some parts of the country, but I since I've been watching the weather channel over the last couple of days quite a  bit, I noticed there have been severe thunderstorm warnings in Tennessee this week.

With older kids, it may be more appropriate to join each line of the acrostic poem so that the overall finished product is a more cohesive poem:

Windy

In the

Night,

Trees

Extend

Rhythmically

This is quite the fancy poem, so it might be a good idea to use this particular poem or one similar to this in order to demonstrate the idea that an acrostic poem doesn't have to be a series of related words that begin with specific letters, but can be a comprehensive expression of a theme or idea.

Additional Winter-Themed Word Ideas

In addition to using the word "Winter" as the acrostic word for the poem, take suggestions from your kids regarding other winter-themed words. Make a list of these on a piece of chart paper or the white board for easy reference by your students, allowing them to use them as the main acrostic word or as descriptive words within their poems. These winter-themed words could include:

  • ice, icy
  • igloo
  • earmuffs
  • mittens
  • gloves
  • hat
  • snow
  • snowball
  • snowman

How Many Words for Snow?

In addition, encourage your students to come up with a variety of words to describe "snow" (besides cold and white) in order to build vocabulary and language awareness. Some of these descriptors could include:

  • fluffy
  • shiny
  • silent
  • muffled
  • bright
  • blanket
  • crusty
  • frozen
  • clean

Focus on the senses of taste, touch, sight, sound and smell to build these descriptors, then set your writers loose in this fun and simple creative writing lesson plan about winter.