A few days back, my son’s English teacher asked the class to each write an acrostic poem for the toy boat project they did. I remember asking my boy: “Acrostic poem? What’s that?” He told me the poem has to contain lines which start with letters that sequentially spell “MY BOAT”. That sounded like a fun challenge…

Upon checking trusty dictionary.com, this was what I learned:

1. a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc.

Further down, the World English Dictionary (Collins) has this to say:

… A single acrostic is formed by the initial letters of the lines, a double acrostic by the initial and final letters, and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle, and final letters

Wow, it’s getting interesting. Are double and triple acrostics possible? My mind started to wonder…

And so, we went cracking and came up with this acrostic poem laden with a touch of Wittyculus humor:

Marvus has made a paddle-wheel boat
You can see it is light and it floats
Built with materials we recycle
Of plastic, rubber, wood and metal
As this creation is quite unique
There is only one and I have it

Neat, right? Especially the last two lines which had us nearly ROTFL 😉

Come to think of it, acrostics are not really new to me; just that I didn’t know its name. In fact, WittyCulus on Facebook has its mission statement written acrostically:

We Intend To Tease Your Consciousness Until Laughter Unveils Silliness

How’s that!


A Little Bit About The Toy Boat Project

This was an assignment for the June school holidays that just ended. The Primary Ones in Marvus’ school were tasked to build a toy boat with these criteria: uses recycled materials, floats, moves forward and is easy to operate.

Propeller boat made from plastic bottles, rubber bands and ice cream stick

We made 2 prototypes — first, a propeller boat; and second, a paddle-wheel boat. The propeller boat consisted of 3 plastic bottles strung together by rubber bands and had an ice cream stick as the propeller. This boat failed to meet one of the criteria: it wouldn’t move forward but went around in circles instead.

Paddle-wheel made from plastic bottle caps, rubber band and ice cream sticks

Our next attempt used a paddle-wheel as the “engine”, an idea we had come across while doing research for the project. This is a more elaborate concept in that the paddle wheel needs to be constructed. We did this with two large plastic bottle caps and several ice cream sticks glued together. The wheel spun around a rubber band threaded through the center of both caps.

The initial idea was to use two drink cans as the “body” of the boat and leave it at that, but the teacher wanted the look of a boat. So we came up with a styrofoam boat model that slides over the cans to incorporate the paddle-wheel engine into the design. It does look bulky and should we do a design change, we’d lose the drink cans altogether (so that the bottom half of the boat model can be omitted).

Initial prototype of paddle-wheel boat, made from drink cans and constructed paddle-wheel unitStyrofoam boat modelStyrofoam boat model with paddle-wheel

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