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How to Write an Acrostic Poem

Mr. Klingensmith's Online Writing Guide

An easy to understand Online Writing Guide for beginning writers.  Here you will find a list of various writing models, general tips and hints to help guide you to writing success.

The big idea

An acrostic poem is a way to show what you know about a character in a book you are reading.  You might not think of it as poetry because it doesn't rhyme, but poetry doesn't always have to rhyme.

Before you begin

Make a list of all the things you know about the character: his or her likes, dislikes, abilities, fears, and so on.  Then think of an important scene where the character appears.

How to do it

An acrostic poem is one where you choose a word or name (like the name of a character in a book) and use each letter in the name as the beginning of a word or line that tells something about that person or character.

An example

Here's one about Wilbur, from Charlotte's Web.

In my acrostic poem, I have tried to show that I actually read the book by saying something about Wilbur that comes from the story itself.

When he found himself
In Zuckerman's barn,
Lying on a
Big pile of manure, he felt
Utterly lonely.  He
Rolled over and cried.

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Copyright 1996-2004 by Michael Klingensmith