An acrostic is a poem which spells out a word or phrase usually using the initials of each line down the left hand side of the poem.

This is very popular to use with children in particular as it gives a specific format to follow and helps to begin an idea. However, it can be difficult to include rhyme or meter and still achieve the appropriate first letter of the acrostic, so it may be better used as a free verse option. Here are some ideas on teaching acrostic poems and on how to use the poem form effectively.

Topic work

Use letters from within the poem as the acrostic element.

The obvious one is to choose an appropriate topic and use a given word or phrase down the side of the poem. Brainstorm ideas together of what the subject brings to mind so that there is plenty of scope.
This could be combined with some element of artwork when doing the final display copy of a poem, by using, for example, tudor lettering for the initials of the acrostic to highlight the topic of "Tudors" See my example poem

Combine the idea of an acrostic and a list poem form

The acrostic is easier to achieve by writing in the style of a list poem, as the restriction of writing in full sentences is therefore eliminated. (see link to list poems)