Having fun with word play!

Click here to download a free poetry ebook for your primary class and get your children performing!


Mesostic Poems- What are they?

Everybody has heard of acrostic poems where a word runs down vertically at the beginning of each line as in the example below; they are straight forward and easy to do and something we see a lot of in primary schools. BUT! Not many teachers know that acrostic poems have exciting cousins that your children will love to have a go at.


Mesostic poems (originating from the Greek word misos which means middle as in mezzanine floor!) features a word going vertically down the middle of the poem just like in the example below. You can challenge your children to write a mesostic poem using quirky and interesting words, phrases or names. This is best done on a computer so that the letters and lines can easily be moved and highlighted. Interestingly, while writing these poems and playing around with the space bar new words can be discovered quite by accident.


Another distant cousin of the acrostic is called the Telestich. This word originates from the Greek word tele meaning far away. Telestich poems feature a word going down vertically at the end of the poem again featured below. This genre of poem is a significant challenge for children (and adults!!) but is well worth the effort in the end.


So, the next time you are planning your poetry module and somebody mentions acrostic, don’t just stop there- think mesostic and telestich as well and wow your children with these fresh and exciting approaches. You’ll even be able to teach them some ancient Greek while you’re at it- which is always handy!

Ian Bland

Click here to download a free poetry ebook for your primary class and get your children performing!


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