Language Arts Lessons with Acrostics
Fun With Letters and Words
Every teacher knows that adding a game or puzzle to a lesson makes it more fun. When children are having fun, they are more motivated to learn. Acrostics are word games that can be used with almost any homeschool lesson to add some variety and encourage critical thinking. Create an acrostic today. Hang it on the wall as a poster or put it into your notebook. (photo credit)
How to Make an Acrostic
An acrostic is a column of words whose first letters spell another word, usually a word that unifies all the other words in meaning. The words may create a sentence or be a list of descriptors or verbs. But they always relate to each other by the one word that they create.
You might use a lamp to help you locate a small piece of something. So the words, "Light amplifies minute pieces" is related to the word lamp.
Read Write Think has a free online acrostic tool that is very fun and easy to use. When you are finished, you can print, save, or email your acrostic.
Another Practical Example
When my daughter studied ancient Egypt, I had her create an acrostic for one of her wrap-up narration activities. She could choose from anything we had studied about Egypt -- mythology, art, pharaohs, culture, geography, etc.
She used the words ANCIENT EGYPT as the base of her acrostic. From there, she brainstormed words related to Ancient Egypt that contained those letters.
As you can see from the photos, she changed the acrostic somewhat. Instead of beginning every word with the letters A-N-C-I-E-N-T-E-G-Y-P-T, she chose words that contained those letters. Her acrostic turned out something like a crossword puzzle. That's okay. It's a modified acrostic, and it is still a good exercise in word play.
It's Not all Play
Word games stimulate creativity and develop vocabulary.
Ways to Use Acrostics in Your Homeschool Lessons
Acrostics are just another tool in your teaching toolkit. When things get boring, suggest creating an acrostic. They work for most any topic of study and will provide some variety to your homeschool schedule.
Here are some ideas for when to use acrostics.
Narrate a lesson or unit study.
Create acrostic poems for language arts.
Practice spelling words.
Define your vocabulary words.
Word Play Cafe
This is a book we own and love. It's silly and often "punny" but full of ways to play with words. Amazingly, the author has uploaded the entire book online for free!
These free printables and downloads will help you integrate an acrostic activity into today's homeschool lesson.
- Acrostic Worksheet Maker
Enter the words you want to use, and this wizard will line the letters up vertically with blanks to fill in.
- Scholastic Writing an Acrostic
Directions and reproducibles for creating an "About Me" acrostic.
- How to Use Acrostics for Homeschool Lessons
Besides a brief overview of using acrostics for homeschool lessons, you will find a free acrostic planning page download.
- Weather Acrostic Poem Worksheet
Create an acrostic about weather using the letters in that word.