Acrostic Mother's Day Poems
- Grades: 1–2
Mother's Day is a wonderful time to work on poetry writing in the form of acrostics. An acrostic poem uses the letters in a topic word to begin each line. All lines of the poem should relate to or describe the topic word. One word or a phrase can be used to describe the topic word. Poems are written vertically down the page and they do not have to rhyme.
- Read and enjoy different examples of acrostic poetry.
- Participate in story discussions and brainstorming ideas related to mothers.
- Learn features of acrostic poetry.
- Students will apply the features of acrostic poetry to poems they write in large, small group and individually.
- Acrostic poetry books or acrostic poem websites, such as:
- Mother's Day or Mother themed books to read for inspiration.
- Chart paper and markers.
- Computers if you choose to create final projects in word processing, but using regular paper would work just fine.
- Wallpaper, yarn, button, ribbons, construction paper scraps, sequins, stickers, glue, scissors etc. for the mothers day art collage.
- Butcher paper or oversized construction paper to house the final products.
Set Up and Prepare
I like to use National Poetry Month in April to explore different types of poetry writing. I expose my students to numerous types of poetry by reading many different selections and by writing our own poems. I focus on children poets such as Shel Silverstein and invite guest poets to visit our class. I continue our exploration of poetry throughout the end of the year, saving acrostic poetry lessons until the week before Mother's Day. This results in some lovely projects that are created by the students and cherished by their mothers.
Part I — Read Mother Themed Stories
Spend time reading books and poems about mothers to inspire student discussion about their own mothers and how they relate to the stories being shared. The books I use can be found in the Suggested Books list. Throughout the week we discuss and create a chart that has the following headings:
- Things I Do With My Mom
- Things I Love About My Mom
- Things My Mom Does For Me
This chart comes in handy when students need ideas for their acrostic poetry writing.
Part II — Reading Acrostic Poems
Choose a selection of acrostic poems to share and discuss with students. You can write them on chart paper or show on an overhead or visual presenter. I like to do one of the above and create a small packet of poems for each student to read along with so they have it to save afterwards.
As students read poems, have them create a list of features attributed to acrostic poetry:
- Uses the letters in a topic word to begin each line
- All lines of the poem should relate to or describe the topic word
- One word or a phrase can be used to describe the topic word
- Poems are written vertically down the page and they do not have to rhyme
Students reference these features when writing their own poems throughout the week.
Part III — Writing Acrostic Poems
I like to write a few poems as a class using a common topic word such as school or springtime or anything else the kids seem interested in. We branch off as the week goes on and students are given the choice to work in small groups, pairs or alone to start writing their own acrostic poems, including one with the topic word of Mother's Day. By the end of the week students write their own acrostic using their mothers' name.
Part IV — The Final Product
Students use a word processing program to type their acrostic poem. This is an excellent opportunity to teach students about different fonts and how to increase and decrease font size. After the poem is printed, I usually have students draw a picture of their mom and decorate around the poem with a whimsical design. Finally, I have students create a collage like picture of their mother using items I have around class like yarn, construction paper, wallpaper scraps, ribbon, yarn, buttons, sequins etc. We place the poems, pictures and whatever else we might have for our moms in an oversized folded piece of paper that is stapled or tied with ribbon or yarn around the sides to leave an opening at the top. This is decorated with their mom's names and taken home for a Mother's Day surprise!
Supporting All Learners
Students learning needs are easily met because of all the opportunities to work as a class, in small groups, with partners or alone. Being able to produce work by hand and/or on computer also gives students other options for creativity.
I found an excellent idea about making a class quilt at the website Acrostic Poetry Quilt Idea. Mrs. Birnbaum had a very smart idea on how to assemble all of her students work in one place. This may be something you may want to try!
- Have students bring home acrostic poems to share and read to their parents.
- Ask students to find out if their parent has a favorite poem to share with the class.
- Send home final products for a Mother's Day gift.
- Write about feelings or connections made to the selections of books read.
- Participate in writing general acrostic poems with the class.
- Work in small group, partners or alone to write an acrostic titled "Mother's Day".
- Write an acrostic about your mom using her name.
- Decorate or illustrate your poems.
- Create a collage art picture that represents your own mother.
- Decorate a "pocket folder" to hold all of your work to present to your mom on Mother's Day.
- Did students write a complete acrostic using the correct features of this poetry genre?
- Did students participate in the different class discussions and assignments throughout the week?
Any of these books listed are excellent choices and references to extend the activities throughout this project.
Hazel's Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells
This is a particular favorite, as we spend time discussing what "the power of love means" in connection to this story and in their own lives. This is one of the sweetest conversations I have with my students every year and the writing that follows this book reading and discussion is priceless.
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
I don't know who can read this book without crying? It is a wonderful way to open up discussion about how students may one day be caring for their own parents as they are being cared for now.
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
No matter what you do or say, the message is that moms will always love you and be waiting with open arms. This is so important for my students to hear and to discuss because everyone has tough days with their parents and as an innocent child you can wonder where you stand sometimes.
My Mom by Anthony Browne
Students can write a parallel book similar to this story alone or as a class.
Just Me and My Mom by Mercer Mayer
Such a simple story, but it ties in the true things about what we all do with our moms.
Mama, Do You Love Me? By Barbara M. Joosse
Beautiful artwork, good cross cultural connection. I like to promote the idea that moms and kids are the same everywhere.
- Observe understandings during class discussions.
- Assess student journal writing for content and understanding.
- Analyze work in progress and completed acrostic poems.