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WritingFix: A Family Writing Night Idea...Family Acrostic Poems

A Family Writing Idea from WritingFix
connecting school and family through meaningful writing assignments

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This write-up was created by Julie Leimbach, a Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant and elementary teacher. Julie encourages all schools to host Family Writing Nights to help bridge the gap between home and school.

Family Acrostic

This idea comes from Northern Nevada teacher Julie Leimbach.

Project Overview:

This activity encourages families to work together to create acrostic poems for each member of the family. The last name of the family may also be included if the family so desires. This activity can easily accommodate families of any size, age, or language. The product created from this activity will be as individual and creative as the family itself. The families are encouraged to be as artistic as they wish. Everyone has a wonderful time with memories and poems to cherish for a lifetime.

Julie believes this family writing project would be appropriate for anyone with in the ages of 5 and 99.

Three-Sentence Overview:

Family Acrostic Poems encourage family members to come together with staff members and write poems about people that are important to them. The family members may choose to write their own or they may choose to have each member write a poem about another member of the family. This is a great activity for a Family Writing Night because it naturally welcomes people speaking any language or age to participate.

6-Trait Skills Focus:

Word Choice: Participants must choose words that are descriptive and dazzling and accurately describe the person that the poem is being written for in a kind and positive manner.

Idea Development: This activity will encourage the participant to choose one topic or person to focus on using descriptive words to give the reader an idea of what the person is like.

Materials Lists:

  • Acrostic poem graphic organizer
  • Teacher models in English and Spanish (if available)
  • Dictionaries and thesauruses
  • Pencils, markers, pens, colored pencils
  • Lined or scrap paper for rough drafts
  • Construction paper, card stock
  • Miscellaneous scrapbook materials or other art supplies (optional)

Teacher Instructions:

Introduction: Thank the families for participating in the Family Writing Night. Stress the importance of writing. Writing is not something students do only at school. Writing is an important part of every person’s life. It is a skill that must be developed to ensure life-long success. It is important that the family encourages the students to write for enjoyment and poetry is the perfect venue. Parents should encourage the students to write creatively outside of school. It is activities like the one tonight that help students find the fun in writing. Through this activity the writers will learn to use dictionaries and thesauruses to assist them in writing creatively. This is also an activity that you can have your child create at home just for fun or for a gift. Writing is a wonderful gift to give your child.

Activity: Create an acrostic poem for a family member or a topic of the participant’s choosing.

  • Explain that an acrostic poem may be written for any topic. The purpose of this activity is to write an acrostic poem describing yourself or another member of your family. They may also wish to write an acrostic poem of their last name as a family.
  • Explain how an acrostic poem is written using individual words or phrases. It is the author’s choice.
  • Describe the graphic organizer and how it is used for brainstorming.
  • Provide families with samples of teacher models and student models (if available). Everything provided to the families should be in English, Spanish or other prevalent language.
  • Directions:
    • Record the brainstorm of words and phrases for each letter in the person’s name on the graphic organizer. You may use a dictionary or thesaurus if needed.
    • Once you have completed the graphic organizer, gather your art supplies and begin creating your poem page. (Have teacher models posted or other examples for participants to look at.)
    • Make sure you are well staffed so that you can assist as needed.
  • Ask for a few volunteers to leave their work for you to display on school bulletin boards. Be sure to save samples that are written in Spanish and English. Assure the volunteers that you will return their work to them.

Positive Impact: The families will leave with poems that they created. Everyone will have enjoyed writing and hopefully see that writing is not the chore that they fear it to be. It can be a wonderful and engaging experience.



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