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Write a Sparkling Seaweek Acrostic!

Deep Into Blue

Oceans glow at night.

Up go the waves

Roaring and rocking

Or just being calm, gentle and flat.

Clever little creatures Eat seaweed and fish And now – Splash! Nets come to catch the fish

Sinking deep into blue.

This acrostic was written by the Governor's Bay School Year 3 and 4 young writers' group, 2019. It was the winning Acrostic Poem for Seaweek 2019.

( published in Write On Issue 52)

What is an Acrostic?

Acrostics are a fun poetic form in which the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase. They seem simple- and they are- but the best ones have the added sparkle of poetry and that takes time.


The Seaweek Canterbury 2021 competition for a collaborative poem by preschool to Year 4 writers gives two options – CONNECTIONS or TOI MOANA - TOI TANGATA. * please note the change of the te reo theme.

Here are some tips from the Write On team to help you and your young writers write a sparkling collaborative Seaweek Acrostic.

1. Discuss the ways your young writers are connected to the sea? What experiences do they have of the beach, the ocean, the estuary? Give them time to share personal responses in small and wider groups.

2. Collect and record your young writers' responses on paper strips and display. These may be words or phrases.

You will need a mixture of nouns, verbs and adjectives to help your collaborative acrostic poem shine. Collect phrases that provide action as well as description.

3. The ACROSTIC. Display the letters for the first lines of your chosen acrostic. Talk with your young writers about the meaning of the word CONNECTION or the phrase TOI MOANA - TOI TANGATA

Your finished poem will support this meaning but doesn't need to be a straight retelling.

Display the letters in vertical form. Usually, the first letter of each line is capitalized or in a different colour. This makes it easier to see the word spelled out vertically down the page.

4. Match and Mix. Give your young writers time to match a collected word, or word within a phrase, to the letters displayed. They will be able to demonstrate their understanding of alphabet letter/ sound knowledge.

There might be more than one match per letter. No need to make choices yet. (Some letters appear more than once!)

Maybe they can't find a word that matches yet. Never mind, go to the next letter. Fill in the ideas that work but don't force anything.

The poem will look a bit messy at this stage. As you work you can shape and shift the words.

5. Fill in the gaps Use the letters that don't yet have matching words to generate new ideas, or find synonyms or te reo words to springboard new ideas.

Not each 'letter' word needs to be the start of a new idea- you can avoid a stop / start feel by moving ideas across the lines. ( see the sample above)

Clever little creatures Eat seaweed and fish And now – Splash! Nets come to catch the fish

6. Make some deliberate choices. A big part of writing is making deliberate choices! This is the time to get the bones of your poem together. It may mean cutting or combining ideas. Maybe discarded ideas could be used for other poems.

7. Poetry Sparkle

Now that you have the bones of your poem, we get to the real poetry stage!

As it is, your acrostic may be a bit dull, didactic, or disconnected!

Poetry requires a few more touches to give the ideas polish.

  • Add sensory detail - sights, smells, sounds, textures

  • Make deliberate language choices- are there other words that bring clarity or specificity to the ideas, but don't change the acrostic. For example replace the generic 'shellfish' with the more specific 'pipi and tuatua'. Instead of 'beautiful fish' show what makes them beautiful, such as 'sparkly-scaled fish'.

  • Add in some sound effects - alliteration, assonance or onomatopoeia can help make the poem sound great too. Remember to read it out loud a few times to hear how it all sounds.

8. Revisit and Revise. Rather than a one-off activity, help your young writers experience the excitement of redrafting and a growth mindset. Read the poem aloud again the next day. Can anyone see another way to make it better? Does it flow?

9. Give your poem a title. This could be the shiniest phrase or word , or something that sums up the main ideas of the poem.

10. Submit your poem! If you are based in Canterbury then you can enter the Seaweek Canterbury Competition for up to Year 4.

Details here: Please note the change of the te reo theme as above.

Seaweek 2021 Poetry Competition Poster (
Download • 390KB

If you are based outside of Canterbury, or not in the age range for the competition, then please send it to us at Write On- we will still consider it for publication in Write On Magazine or on our blog.

email: Subject: Seaweek Acrostic Submission

Keep an eye out as we share some winning Sea Poems by young writers over the next few weeks.

(c) Write On School for Young Writers 2021


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