Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 22: Acrostic: Acrostic

by Lewis Carroll

lesson image

Little maidens, when you look

On this little story-book,

Reading with attentive eye

Its enticing history,

Never think that hours of play

Are your only HOLIDAY,

And that in a HOUSE of joy

Lessons serve but to annoy:

If in any HOUSE you find

Children of a gentle mind,

Each the others pleasing ever—

Each the others vexing never—

Daily work and pastime daily

In their order taking gaily—

Then be very sure that they

Have a life of HOLIDAY.

    Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 22: Acrostic: Acrostic

by Lewis Carroll


Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read the poem each day.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Read about the poetic form.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


"Acrostic" is an acrostic poem written by the "Alice in Wonderland" author Lewis Carroll. He gifted the poem to three little girls as a Christmas present. Can you guess their names?


Poems often adhere to specific poetic forms, defined as 'poems following distinct sets of rules.'

The nine poetic forms we'll study include the:

  1. Sijo: A lyrical Korean poetic form of three long lines.
  2. Haiku: A Japanese poem of three lines and a total of seventeen syllables.
  3. Limerick: A humorous poem of five lines and the rhyming scheme AABBA, typically having syllables of 9–9–6–6–9.
  4. Sonnet: A poetic form of fourteen lines that follow one of a few common rhyming schemes.
  5. Epitaph: A poem honoring the deceased, engraved on a burial marker or tomb.
  6. Acrostic: A poem where particular letter spell out a secret message, often the first letter of each line.
  7. Visual
  8. Ode
  9. Blank Verse

Acrostics follow these rules:

  1. Particular letters in the poem spell out a secret message
  2. The letters are arranged in some pattern or by some rule that when known, can reveal the message
  3. The pattern is commonly all of the first letter or all the last letters in order of appearance


Activity 1: Recite the Poem Title, Poet Name, and Poem

  • Each day this week, recite aloud the title of the poem, the name of the poet, and the poem.

Activity 2: Study the Poem Picture

Study the poem picture and describe how it relates to the poem.

Activity 3: Narrate the Poem

  • After reading the poem, narrate the poem events aloud using your own words.

Activity 4: Complete Book Activities   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 25 of 'Elementary Poetry 6: Poetic Forms.'