Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Acrostic Poems and Rebus Stories

In the computer lab this past month, my second grade classes published their November/Thankful acrostic poems. The teachers worked with the students in their classrooms to write the poem and then we used Microsoft Word to publish it. One teacher had the great suggestion of using a table in Word to help align the three parts of the poem: The large letter, the phrases and the pictures to go with it. The technical skills used were inserting a table of the correct dimensions, changing the font size and style, inserting clip art, removing the table borders and adding a page border. As you can see below, they turned out really nice!

One of my teaching goals this year to is have differentiated activities at the end of each unit so the students have something meaningful to do when they are done. I had two choices for students who finished their poem before others did. They could either make a new table and compose an acrostic poem of their own name, or they could write a story about a topic of their choice. I found that as long as I reviewed how to insert a table, many chose that option. Just as many chose to write a story of their own. 

A couple of second grade classes needed an extra day in the lab to finish all the student's poems, so I went one step further and taught the students how to create a rebus story. This used the tech skills of center and left alignment, changing the font size and style, insert and resizing clip art and copy/paste as we reused pictures in our story. Their results after just one class were terrific and shown below. 


  1. I am also a computer lab teacher. This underscores my assertion that second graders are indeed capable of word processing and formatting at this level of sophistication. Hard to get buy-in from their teachers however.

    Question: How did you direct the students to find images? Did they Google search images or did you have a media folder ready for them? This is the step that I imagine takes the longest.

  2. @vvtechleader
    Thank you! Actually, the teachers came up with the acrostic poem idea and I was happy to help. Both projects were done entirely with the clipart available on Microsoft Word. While I have taught 2nd graders safe image searching, I leave it for things that don't have a bank of clipart, like Wikis, blogs and PhotoStory. The two sites I like to use are and