Sentaku Poetry

This lesson teaches the students the basics of how to write two types of poetry—acrostic and persona.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Raegina Taylor on Jun 19, 2007.

Background Information- Sentaku means “elective.” Sentaku is usually used in reference to an elective class. Acrostic poetry is a basic type of poetry which is used to generate ideas about a topic. Targeted around a specific word or topic, it enables students to build on the topic through sentences, in a visual way. Persona poetry extends the exploration of a topic towards a person, developing a knowledge for describing a person using a set of rules. As poetry is about rules, this is a good introduction in the way rules formulate English poetry.

Acrostic activity:

  • For demonstrational purposes, the teacher will write a topic on the board. The topic can be a holiday, season, name of the school, student/teacher's name, etc. Then, using the acrostic poem technique, the class will make a poem.
  • Before construction of the poem, brainstorm as a class, various adjectives, sentences and adverbs that begin with each letter of the chosen word. For example, if the word "spring" was chosen, the poem constructed might be "Sentaku Poetry is Really Intelligent, Nice, and Great fun.
  • Once the students understand how to form this type of poem, have them form pairs and write their own poems using either a word of their choice or a topic already provided.

Persona activity:

  • In small groups or together as a class, look at the example poem below about "Kate" and discuss the structure of the eight lines. What parts of speech or groupings of words typify each line.
  • Using the attached template, students can work alone and write about themselves, or work in pairs and write about their partner.

Tall, energetic, happy and intelligent.
She is a mother of Danny.
She is a mother who loves music, books and fresh rice.
She is a mother who is afraid of President Bush, spiders and heights.
She is a mother who wants to see Latin America, the end of poverty and summer.
She is a resident of England.

"Kate" - Analysis
Line 1 = first name/nickname of the person in the poem.
Line 2 = 4 adjectives which describe the person.
Line 3 = X of Y formula, describing an important relationship to the person.
Line 4 = 3 things she loves.
Line 5 = 3 things that scare her.
Line 6 = 3 things she wants to see.
Line 7 = resident of a place/time/concept.
Line 8 = last name of the person in the poem.


  • Students present their poem in front of the class with a picture that supplements the topic to be displayed on the English bulletin board, or hallway if you don't have an English bulletin board.



Total 0

Estimated time: 50+ min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

January 16, 2020


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