March 5, 2018
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by Caitlin Hardeman
Lesson Plan:

Acrostics for the Earth

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Students will be able to create an acrostic poem with information about the environment and Earth Day.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students what they know about poetry and its common characteristics.
  • Create a concept web on the board with the word “Poetry” in the center.
  • Record student answers in circles that branch from the center.
  • Tell students that today’s lesson will focus on poetry as they learn about caring for the environment and Earth Day.
(15 minutes)
  • Share with students that Earth Day is a worldwide celebration to bring awareness and appreciation for the environment. Awareness is when we know about something. Appreciation is when we feel grateful about something. The goal of the day is for everyone to realize how important it is to take care of the environment.
  • Read aloud a book about taking care of the environment, such as The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
  • Think aloud about how the book is teaching a lesson about the importance of our environment and the role we play in taking care of it.
  • Make the connection that this book is relevant for an Earth Day discussion because it teaches us that the environment can only get better if we each care enough and treat it with love and care. It is up to us to take action in order to make positive changes for the environment.
  • Explain to students that the objective of today’s lesson is to write an acrostic poem that connects to Earth Day. An acrostic is a type of poetry where the first letter in a line spells out a particular word or phrase.
  • Write the word “CARE” vertically, in an acrostic format. Model writing an acrostic with this word, such as: Create a clean environment Anyone can help Reduce, reuse, recycle Earth’s environment is important
  • Display the acrostic for the remainder of the lesson to serve as an example for students to reference.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide students into small groups and give each group a sheet of construction paper and a marker.
  • Encourage students to plan their work on a separate sheet of paper before creating their final acrostic poem on the construction paper.
  • Instruct groups to work together in a group to write an acrostic with the word "Lorax."
  • Have groups share out and display the acrostics for the remainder of the lesson.
  • Conduct a quick brainstorming session with the class about how people can help the environment and why the environment is so important. Record suggestions on chart paper or on the board to serve as a reference while students complete the independent work activity.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute a copy of Earth Day Acrostic Poem worksheet to each student.
  • Review the characteristics of an acrostic poem.
  • Share the checklist that will be used to assess student work so students know the expectations for this assignment (see Assessment).
  • Instruct students to independently create an acrostic about Earth Day.

Support:

  • Provide a word bank with important words and phrases about Earth Day and the environment.
  • Allow students to use a dictionary or thesaurus in order to find words for the acrostic poems.
  • Shorten the assignment for struggling or reluctant students. Have them complete the acrostic activity for only one of the words on the independent worksheet.
  • Give students a graphic organizer, such as a concept map, in order to brainstorm words and phrases they could use in their acrostic poem.

Enrichment:

  • Challenge advanced students to write longer phrases in their acrostic poems.
  • Allow students to research Earth Day information and create a booklet with only acrostic poems. Encourage them to pick out key terms and short phrases that they will use to create acrostic poems.
(5 minutes)
  • Collect the Earth Day Acrostic Poem and use a checklist that focuses on key components of an acrostic poem to determine students’ mastery of the objective, such as, word choice effectively relatingto Earth Day, words and phrases making sense, each line of the poem beginning with the listed letter, the poem being written neatly, etc.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students take out a whiteboard and a whiteboard marker.
  • Pose the following question: "Why do we celebrate Earth Day?"
  • Instruct students to respond by writing on their whiteboards.
  • Circulate to check student responses.
  • Reiterate that Earth Day is a day for awareness and appreciation of our environment. There are many ways to get involved in taking care of our Earth. Challenge students to do both small and big things in order to care for the environment.

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