How to write an acrostic poem

What is an Acrostic?

Acrostics are a fun poetic form that anyone can write. They have just a few simple rules, and this lesson will teach you how to create acrostic poems of your own.

To begin with, an acrostic is a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase. The word or phrase can be a name, a thing, or whatever you like. When children write acrostics, they will often use their own first name, or sometimes the first name of a friend.

Usually, the first letter of each line is capitalized. This makes it easier to see the word spelled out vertically down the page.

Acrostics are easy to write because they don’t need to rhyme, and you don’t need to worry about the rhythm of the lines. Each line can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

Creating an Acrostic in Five Easy Steps

To create an acrostic, follow these five easy steps:

  1. Decide what to write about.
  2. Write your word down vertically.
  3. Brainstorm words or phrases that describe your idea.
  4. Place your brainstormed words or phrases on the lines that begin with the same letters.
  5. Fill in the rest of the lines to create a poem.

Now let me show you how to follow these steps.

The first step is to decide what you would like to write an acrostic poem about. I recommend you start by writing an acrostic based on your name or on your favorite thing, whatever that happens to be. It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing is soccer, video games, chocolate, music, pizza, movies, or anything else.

An Ice Cream Acrostic

For example, I especially like ice cream, so I decided to write an acrostic about ice cream. Begin by writing the word “ICE CREAM” down the page like this:

I
C
E

C
R
E
A
M

Next, you want to say something about ice cream in each line. A good way to do this is to “brainstorm” lots of ideas. I wrote down a list of all the ice cream flavors I could think of, including chocolate chip, strawberry, rocky road, and others. Then I put them in a list wherever they would fit, like this:

Ice Cream

I
Cookies & Cream.
English Toffee.

Chocolate Chip.
Rocky Road.
E
Almond Fudge.
M

You’ll notice that I didn’t fill in all of the lines. That’s because I couldn’t think of a flavor that started with “I” and I could only think of one flavor that started with “E.” Also, I thought I would do something different with the last line, to make it an ending for the poem, rather than just another flavor.

Finally, I filled in the missing lines, like this:

Ice Cream

I love every flavor.
Cookies & Cream.
English Toffee.

Chocolate Chip.
Rocky Road.
Even Strawberry and
Almond Fudge.
Mmmmmmmm.

Now, just as you can write acrostics about things you like, you can also write them about things you don’t like, such as chores, homework, and so on. Here is an example acrostic about homework.

A Homework Acrostic

In addition to writing about things you like, such as ice cream, you can write acrostics about things you don’t like. For example, if you don’t like homework, you might try writing a poem about it. Begin by writing the word “HOMEWORK” down the page:

H
O
M
E
W
O
R
K

Next, brainstorm as many words and phrases as you can think of. Here are some I came up with:

Reading for hours. Writing. Not my favorite. Every Day. I’d rather be watching TV. Makes me crazy. Overwhelming. Hard to do.

Notice that some of these words and phrases begin with the letters in the word “homework.” I put these ones in where I saw they would go:

Homework

Hard to do
Overwhelming,
M
Every day
Writing
O
Reading for hours.
K

Finally, I found a way to fill in the rest of the words, and even give it an ending. Here is the finished acrostic:

Homework

Hard to do and sometimes
Overwhelming,
My teacher gives us homework
Every single day!
Writing for hours
Or
Reading for hours.
Kids need a break!

A Minecraft Acrostic

Here’s one more acrostic poem I created recently with the help of kids from all around the country during an online author visit:

Minecraft

Minecraft.
I love it.
No doubt about it.
Exploring, building, fighting
Creepers, zombies, and skeletons.
Roaming around for hours.
A
Fun
Time for everyone!

Things to Remember

Here are a few things to remember as you begin writing your own acrostics:

  1. Acrostics can be about anything!
  2. Names are a common topic. Try writing one using your best friend’s name and giving it to him or her as a gift.
  3. You can use single words, phrases, or even full sentences in your acrostic poem.

Finally, remember, acrostic poems are one of the easiest and most fun ways to create poems of your own. Give it a try and see what you can come up with.

What is an acrostic poem?

An acrostic poem is a fun poetry form that can be written about any topic.

It’s a poem where letters within the lines of that poem (at the beginning, middle, or end) spell out a specific word. That word is reflective of the topic or theme of the poem.

What are the rules?

The one rule of an acrostic poem is that a word must be spelled among the beginning, middle, or ending letters of a line.

An acrostic poem does not have to rhyme, but it can.

It also doesn’t have to follow a specific syllable count.

How do I write an acrostic poem?

  1. Think of the word you want your poem to be about (family, hope, inspiration, birthday, etc.).
  2. Write the word vertically. Tip: Use paper instead of a computer. When writing poetry, it’s easier to manipulate words and phrases on paper by jotting down thoughts or scribbling out words.
  3. Write down some words or phrases you think of when it comes to that topic (ex: FAMILY – fun, love, siblings, mom, dad, bond, care, memories, bickering, time together, play, vacation, etc.).
  4. If the words you think of start with one of the beginning letters of a line, go ahead and fill them in. From there, work on fitting your other ideas into the lines.
  5. When writing acrostic poems, make sure the letters that spell out the word are clearly marked by using capitals, quotations, or bold print.
  6. For young children or beginning poets, a simple way to start is by associating only one word to each of the letters in the poem:

Fun
And
Memories
I
Love
You

The 3 different types of acrostic poems

  1. The first letter of each line
  2. Using letters in the middle of the line
  3. The last letter of each line

The most popular version is when a word is spelled using the first letter of each line (as seen above). Other options provide more of a challenge to experienced poets.

One option is to have a word hidden in the middle of the poem.

Poetry makes me haPpy
And brings jOy to my soul.
I can see mysElf in the words,
And it makes Me feel whole.

Acrostic poem examples creating words in the middle of the lines:

A third option is to write a poem that has a word spelled vertically using the last letters of each line. This can be the trickiest variety, but it’s a great puzzle for those who want a challenge.

When I’m feeling down and need a pick-me-uP
No other thing than write will dO.
It releases my emotions and makes me feel like mE.
There’s nothing like writing to make me calM.

Acrostic poem example creating a word from the end of the lines:

Acrostic Poem Examples for Kids:

Funny times
And sad times
Mixed together.
I will always
Love
You.

  • Friends
  • Celebrating Fathers
  • A Family

Examples of Obvious Acrostic Poems:

F is for Father who protects us.
A is for Always loving each other.
M is for Mom who takes care of us.
I is for Instigating pranks on siblings.
L is for Listening to each other.
Y is for Yesterdays and tomorrows together.

  • Motherhood
  • Graduation
  • B – Is For Birthday
  • Our Love
  • God’s Grace
  • My Father
  • Happiness

Examples of Subtle Acrostic Poems:

Family can be flesh and blood
And friends who would never leave you.
My family is made up of both, and
I’ll stand by them and protect them with everything I have,
Learning to navigate life together through
Yesterday’s memories and tomorrow’s adventures.

  • Love Stays Hopeful
  • My Mother
  • The Poetry Masters
  • Silent Healing
  • Our Military Troops
  • Nature Speaks
  • Resurrection
  • Hope In A Dream

As you can see, there are many ways to craft acrostic poems. This form can be tailored to people of all skill levels, and it’s a great way to use language to convey a particular theme.

Acrostic Poetry Collections

More Acrostic Poems. Explore these Collections:

Lena Kovadlo is a writer for various content-sharing websites. She’s an author of 12 books and helps other authors publish theirs.

How to write an acrostic poem

How to write an Acrostic Poem

What is an Acrostic Poem?

An acrostic poem is a poem with a hidden word, phrase, or name spelled out by either letters, syllables, or words in each line of the poem.

The most common variation of this poem is when the first letter or first syllable of the first word of each line in the poem, or the first word itself, spells out a word, a phrase, or a name. There are other variations of this poetic style as well.

Variations of an Acrostic Poem

Here are the variations of an acrostic poem:

  1. Have last letter, last syllable, or last word of each line spell something out.
  2. Have a combination of first and last letter, syllable or word spell something out.
  3. Have the first letter of a middle word in each line spell something out.
  4. Have the middle word of each line spell something out.
  5. Have something spelled out diagonally. For example, start from the first letter of the first word in the first line followed by the first letter of the second word in the second line followed by the first letter of the third word in the third line, and so on.

Line 1 – Word 1 – First letter

Line 2 – Word 2 – First letter

Line 3 – Word 3 – First letter

Line n – Word n – First letter

Have a variation of the format described in 4th bullet but instead of the first letter make it the first word.

  • There are many more variations you can create here. Get as creative and as complex as you’d like.
  • How to Write an Acrostic Poem?

    Writing an acrostic poem is simple but can be a challenge. The easiest acrostic poem to write is one where the first letter of each line spells something out—be it a word, a phrase, or a name.

    When writing this easiest type of acrostic poem simply first write out the word, phrase, or name by having each letter on its own line and making it bold. Then write your poem so that each line begins with the letters you have laid out on the page.

    October 11, 2019 by Lisa

    How to write an acrostic poem

    Teach your child how to write an acrostic poem as a simple introduction to the world of poetry. In this poetry form, kids get to play with words without the added pressure of rhyming lines. Kids of all ages can enjoy writing an acrostic poem.

    What is an Acrostic Poem?

    An acrostic poem is a poem of words or phrases that describes a topic word. The topic word is written vertically, and each line of the poem starts with the letters of the topic word, making this a fun, unique poetry form for kids. The illustration below is an example of an acrostic poem.

    How to write an acrostic poem

    How to Write an Acrostic Poem

    • Think of a topic word and write it vertically in upper case letters. For young writers, start with 3-4 letter words. Older kids may want to choose longer words.
    • Brainstorm words and phrases for each letter that describe your topic. Think of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs depending on the ability of your child.

    Encourage the use of a children’s dictionary to find words that can relate to the topic. Your kids can learn some dictionary skills in the process.

    out at night
    oak tree
    observing below
    old
    one
    only

    leave
    looking
    lonely
    lantern eyes
    lunges for prey
    lulls me to sleep

    Notice that not all these words pertain to owls. Sometimes you have to creatively combine words when there’s no obvious word to describe the topic.

    • Choose words and phrases that fit together.
    • Write the words and phrases next to the letters they begin with.

    Here’s another example of an acrostic poem about an owl. Using different words from the brainstorm, I changed some verb tenses and added new words to make longer phrases that flowed together better. This is where the word play gets fun.

    • Draw an illustration. This step is optional, but most kids love this part.

    Acrostic Poem Ideas

    Acrostic poems can be written about anything, but here are some ideas to consider.

    • an animal
    • a season
    • a person’s name
    • a holiday
    • a place
    • a sport
    • a favorite food
    • something you don’t like

    Conclusion

    Teach your kids how to write an acrostic poem, because it’s a fun, easy way to introduce poetry writing. They can choose a topic they like and play with words without any pressure to use rhyme or rhythm.

    Your Turn

    Have your kids written acrostic poems? What did they enjoy about writing this form of poetry? What was challenging?

    Resource:

    Schnur, Steven. 2001. Summer: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York, NY: Clarion Books

    One of the best ways to introduce poetry is to write an acrostic poem with your children. There is no pressure to rhyme. They get to play with words. It is easy to choose a topic. Writing acrostic poetry is something that kids (and adults) of all ages can enjoy!

    We started poetry teatime recently and one of my children’s favorite books is a book of acrostic poems by Brian Cleary. So, I thought, why not take a stab at writing our own?! Even my reluctant writer was excited to try!

    What is an Acrostic Poem?

    An acrostic poem is a form of poetry where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase. Let’s look at a few examples of acrostic poems, so you can get an idea. Here is a fun monster acrostic poem:

    How to write an acrostic poem

    Here is a short and sweet acrostic poem about the sun from Crayola:

    How to write an acrostic poem

    How to Write an Acrostic Poem

    One reason that writing an acrostic poem is a great activity for younger children is because is it so simple and straight-forward. In just a few easy steps, they’ll have written their poem! Here are the steps to follow to write an acrostic poem:

    1) Think of a topic.

    This can really be anything. A common word to start with is the child’s name because, well, most kids LOVE writing about themselves! Other popular topics include animals, colors, seasons, sports, or family members. The ideas really are endless, but I suggest starting with a short word if this is your first acrostic poem, the child is pretty young (kindergarten/preschool), or he or she is a reluctant writing. For our example, I’ll choose DOG.

    2) Write the letters of the word vertically.

    3) Brainstorm words and phrases that have to do with your topic.

    The words you brainstorm can start with any letter – don’t limit yourself to just the letters that spell your chosen word. You will need connector words, so even some words that you might think are totally off topic will come in handy later. For our DOG poem, here are some of my words:
    fur
    ears
    dedicated
    digging
    owned
    outside
    bones
    treats
    sit
    stay
    snuggle
    kisses
    licks
    pet
    ears
    tail
    wag
    play
    bark
    growl
    soft
    furry
    companion
    best friend

    Try to think of lots of different parts of speech, too. This will make it easier to create phrases and sentences in the next step! I have nouns (ears, tail, pet, treat, bones, fur), verbs (wag, play, bark, growl, pet), and adjectives (dedicated, owned, soft, furry). You can use a dictionary or thesaurus to help you find words, too! This is a great time to work in a few dictionary skills.

    You can also try to work in other literary devices like alliteration or metaphors for older kids or those comfortable with writing. My nine year old loves using alliteration in her writing and it adds a bit of fun, so just play around with it and have fun!

    If you are working with a younger child, feel free to do all the writing and just let them call out words and phrases. The idea is to have fun and let them see that writing and poetry can be silly, fun, and enjoyable.

    4) Choose Words that Go Nicely Together

    Now that you have your list, choose some words and phrases that you think go nicely together and writing them out for each letter of your word. Here is my example for our DOG poem:

    dedicated companion and best friend
    outside for fun, but loves to snuggle up on the couch
    gives kisses to those she loves!

    You can do more than one acrostic poem for the same words and see how the poem changes with different words. This is a great opportunity to talk about the images that words create and how the image changes for each poem with a different set of words.

    If your kiddo is an artist you could have them draw a picture for their poem and write the poem underneath – totally optional!

    Acrostic Poem Ideas

    Do you need some ideas to help you get started writing your acrostic poem? Here are some fun ideas that are generally popular with kids and easy to brainstorm words and phrases for:
    seasons
    names
    animals
    places
    colors
    food
    holidays
    something you don’t like (perfect for a picky eater – ha!)

    Acrostic Poems are Great for Kids

    Teaching children how to write acrostic poetry is a great way to introduce poetry and poetry writing. They can easily choose a topic that interests them and the structure of the poem makes it simple for children. Even children who find “write a poem” intimidating can find success with acrostic poetry – there is just enough structure to make it easy, but not too much that it gets frustrating. Your budding poet gets to choose a topic, play with words, and have fun without any pressure to rhyme or count syllables! Magnetic poetry kids are also great for creating acrostic poems without writing or for help with brainstorming!

    Have Fun!

    So much of a child’s attitude about a topic is based off the parent’s vibes, so have fun with this poetry activity! Gather some books, read a few examples (here is a great funny book!), and get started! You can do one together if you child is nervous or doesn’t like writing.

    Did you write one? Share it on IG and tag @surya_teachmeimyours !

    Table of Contents

    What is the example of acrostic poem?

    An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letter of each line (or the last letter of each line) spells out a specific word. Examples of Acrostic Poem: Sunshine warming my toes, Underwater fun with my friends.

    What is meant by acrostic poem?

    An acrostic is a poem (or other form of writing) in which the first letter (or syllable, or word) of each line (or paragraph, or other recurring feature in the text) spells out a word, message or the alphabet.

    What is special about an acrostic?

    An acrostic is a piece of writing in which a particular set of letters—typically the first letter of each line, word, or paragraph—spells out a word or phrase with special significance to the text. Acrostic poems may be written in meter or in free verse, with or without rhyme.

    What is it called when you make words out of each letter of a word?

    An acronym is a pronounceable word formed from the first letter (or first few letters) of each word in a phrase or title. The newly combined letters create a new word that becomes a part of everyday language. Using shortened forms of words or phrases can speed up communication.

    How does an acrostic poem work?

    An acrostic poem is a poem that uses the first letter from each consecutive line of verse to form a word, phrase, or sentence. The poem does not have to rhyme or have a specific meter, although if you are a very skilled writer, your acrostic poem may have both! And giving credit to others for their work.

    How do you write a name poem?

    HOW TO WRITE A NAME POEM…

    1. Grab a sheet of paper and write down the meaning of the name of the person you want to write for.
    2. Write down 5 words/images that come to mind when you think of this person’s name.
    3. Think of 5 things you like/love/enjoy about this person.
    4. Now you have 10 words/images you can work with!

    What is the name poem?

    A Name Poem, or Acrostic Poem, tells about the word. It uses the letters of the word for the first letter of each line. Example of Name Poem. There are many examples of different types of poetry. An example of Name Poem can be found in the poetic work of Marie Hughes.

    What is the name of the poet of this poem?

    The name of the poet of the poem is William Shakespeare.

    How do you write a Cinquain poem?

    Writing a Cinquain Poem

    1. Line 1: One word (a noun, the subject of the poem)
    2. Line 2: Two words (adjectives that describe the subject in line 1)
    3. Line 3: Three words (-ing action verbs–participles–that relate to the subject in line 1)
    4. Line 4: Four words (a phrase or sentence that relates feelings about the subject in line 1)

    What is a poem with 5 lines called?

    A quintain (also known as a quintet) is any poetic form or stanza that contains five lines.

    What are some examples of Cinquain poems?

    American Cinquain Example: Snow by Adelaide Crapsey Because Adelaide Crapsey created the cinquain as a poetic form, the best example of a cinquain is a poem that she wrote titled “Snow.” The snow!”

    What does a Cinquain poem look like?

    What is a Cinquain? Cinquains are just five lines long, with only a few words on each line, making them easy to write. The first and last lines have just two syllables, while the middle lines have more, so they end up with a diamond-like shape, similar to the poetic form called the diamante.

    What are the main types of Cinquain?

    Variation Description
    Butterfly cinquain a nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.
    Crown cinquain a sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem.

    What are the components of a Cinquain poem?

    Session Two: Writing Cinquain Line 1: a one-word title, a noun that tells what the poem is about. Line 2: two adjectives describing the title. Line 3: three -ing action verbs. Line 4: a related phrase.

    What is a tanka poem?

    The tanka is a thirty-one-syllable poem, traditionally written in a single unbroken line. A form of waka, Japanese song or verse, tanka translates as “short song,” and is better known in its five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form. History of the Tanka Form.

    How many syllables does a Cinquain poem have?

    Define cinquain A short, 5-line poem that follows the 2-4-6-8-2 syllable scheme.

    What is a Clerihew in poetry?

    Clerihew, a light verse quatrain in lines usually of varying length, rhyming aabb, and usually dealing with a person named in the initial rhyme. Clerihew. key people.

    Is the rhyme scheme important in a Clerihew?

    Clerihews have just a few simple rules: They are four lines long. The first and second lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other. A clerihew should be funny.

    What is a Clerihew poem example?

    The poem is about/deals with a person/character within the first rhyme. In most cases, the first line names a person, and the second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person. One of the most remembered Clerihew from Bentley’s collection is: Sir Humphrey Davy Abominated gravy.

    Why is it called a Clerihew?

    The form was invented by and is named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley. When he was a 16-year-old pupil at St Paul’s School in London, the lines of his first clerihew, about Humphry Davy, came into his head during a science class. Together with his schoolfriends, he filled a notebook with examples.

    Writing, Books, and Characters among other things

    Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
    -Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Sometimes people want to write, but they don’t have any ideas, or any time, or they just don’t have the motivation to start writing something that is going to take a bunch of time. This is a good time to write an acrostic poem. Acrostic poems don’t usually take too long and are a lot of fun.

    Now, an acrostic poem is fairly simple to understand once a person knows what it is. An acrostic poem is not a poem in a traditional sense. This kind of poem does not rhyme (at least, not normally), and often each line consists of only one word. Basically, an acrostic poem is where you choose a word, which is also your subject, and put it vertically on the paper. Then for each one of those letters you find something that works for those letters whether it is a phrase or a single word. Once each of those letters has a word or phrase next to it the acrostic poem is done. And, usually, the word that is used to form the acrostic poem is the name of the poem.

    Don’t worry if that description was a bit confusing. We are going to go through making an acrostic poem step by step together, and by the time you are through you are going to be an expert in this kind of poem.

    What you are going to want to do first when you are writing an acrostic poem is get something to write on. Now, this can be a computer, or a notebook, or even a napkin. You are also going to need a pen or a pencil, unless, of course, you are writing on a computer.

    Then you are going to want to choose the subject that you are writing about, a single word that describes it. Often people use names for this kind of a poem. I am going to use the word ‘books.’

    So what I am going to do now is put the word vertically on the paper.

    Now I am going to come up with some words or short phrases that I feel describe books.

    Here is what I have: Beautifully interesting and exciting. Bringing me new ideas. Original. Knowing that books are portals to other worlds. Enjoyable.

    Now that I have a few ideas I am going to put them into my acrostic and see where that gets me.

    Beautifully interesting and exciting
    Original
    O
    Knowing that books are portals to other worlds
    S

    As you can see I have found words or phrases that work for some of the letters, but not for all.

    So what I am going to do now is figure out words or phrases for the other two.

    Alright, here is what I got when I finished the acrostic poem:

    Beautifully interesting and exciting
    Original
    Of many forgotten
    Knowing that books are portals to other worlds
    Sentences that make a story

    Then I should probably name this poem ‘Books’ because that is what the word is, and that for some reason is what people usually name these poems.

    That is it! The poem is done!

    This poem can also be made with a phrase instead of just a single word. It is a very versatile poem. It can be done as a name or an object.

    It is a kind of poem that all ages enjoy doing. It is a poem that works well as a gift especially if you write it using the person’s name.

    I hope that this has given you some ideas which can sometimes be difficult to come by!

    How to Write an Acrostic Poem

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    What are acrostic poems? In an acrostic poem, the first letter of each line spells a word. The word is the subject of the poem.

    How to Write a Thanksgiving Acrostic Poem

    Aug 05, 2021 Teaching kids to write a Thanksgiving acrostic poem helps them focus on reasons to be thankful. What a fun way to encourage writing!

    8 Acrostic Poem Ideas to Challenge Upper Elementary Students

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    How to Write an Acrostic

    Aug 05, 2021 To write your own acrostic, break apart a single word, so that the individual letters become the initial letters of their own respective lines (or, if you

    5 Tips for Writing Acrostic Poetry

    Basics: Before you begin writing an acrostic poem, you need to understand the basics of this type of poem. In an acrostic poem, the first letter of each line creates