Once students have learned parts of speech such as nouns, verb forms, and adjectives, a fun and cumulative review can incorporate poetry – specifically diamante poems.
A diamante poem is a poem consisting of seven lines that take the shape of a diamond. It’s a poem about opposites where the first and last lines are nouns that convey different meanings. Here is an example of a diamante…
Freezing, Biting, Shivering
Icicles, Snowflakes…Sunshine, Fireplace
Warming, Comforting, Glowing,
Writing a diamante requires following a certain structure.
1st line: One word that is the 1st topic (a noun)
2nd line: Two adjectives that describe the noun in line 1
3rd line: Three verbs ending in –in that describe Topic A or tells what it does.
4th line: Two nouns about topic #1 and two nouns about the topic in the last line
5th line: Three –in verbs that describe the topic # 2
6th line: Two adjectives that describe topic #2
7th line: Topic #2
Brainstorming for Diamantes
Explain to students that because there are a limited number of words in diamantes, each word has to count. No boring or vague words allowed!
Help students come up with word pairs that are opposite in idea. The rule is that each word in the word pair has to be a noun.
Write the instructions to constructing the poem as follows:
Line 1: Name a topic (this can come from the word pair brainstorming.)
Line 7: Name the opposite topic (this is the last line of the diamante.)
Line 2: Brainstorm 5 or 6 vivid adjectives that describe topic #1. These should NOT end in –ing.
Line 3: Brainstorm 5 or 6 descriptive verbs ending in –ing that talk about the 1st topic.
Line 4: Think of many nouns that tell about topic #1 and topic #2. Make sure these are nouns and not adjectives.
Line 5: Brainstorm 5 or 6 descriptive verbs ending in –ing that talk about the 2nd topic.
Line 6: Brainstorm 5 or 6 vivid adjectives that describe topic #2. These should not be words that end in –ing.
To write the diamante:
First choose the most descriptive words from the brainstorming session to use in the diamante. Make sure each word begins with a capital letter and separate each word by a comma. Use three spaced periods two separate the four words in line 4.
Have students fill out the following before they write the final poem.
Line 1. ________
Line 2: ________, ________
Line 3: ________, ________, ________
Line 4: ________, ________ … ________, ________
Line 5: ________, ________, ________
Line 6: ________, ________
Line 7. _________
Now it’s time to construct the poem in the diamond shape. Teachers can give students templates that have a large diamond shape in the center of the paper. After students write the poem, they can decorate with pictures illustrating their topics or the nouns and adjectives that describe them. Then have students cut out the diamonds and display them on one wall or the bulletin board.
A few weeks after students write the first diamante poem, have students write a second poem. That way they can access prior knowledge and reinforce their understanding of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. You can choose a theme for students to adhere to such as seasons, animals, or any topic students are studying in another content area. Examples could be mammals/reptiles in science or forests/deserts in social studies.