Empowering Writers

April 2014 Lesson of the Month

Happy spring from all of your friends at Empowering Writers! Did you know that April is officially Poetry Month? The Academy of American Poets designated April as poetry month back in 1996, with the intention of celebrating poetry. And it’s easy to see why they picked April – plenty of springtime inspiration! Our lesson this month will introduce the “Diamante” poem – an added benefit – parts of speech and word referents are the building blocks of this form of poetry! Here’s what you’ll do:

1) Discuss poetry with the class. Ask if they’ve ever heard a poem, and how poems are different than other forms of writing. You can define a poem as a form of writing designed to paint a picture or impression with words. Poets use rhythm, rhyme, figurative language, and word patterns to draw the reader or listener in. Point out that all poems, however, do not use rhyming words.

2) Introduce the diamante poem – “diamante” refers to the diamond shape that the text of this kind of poem takes. The diamante poem consists of seven lines:

  • Line 1: a single noun
  • Line 2: two adjectives
  • Line 3: three verbs
  • Line 4: four nouns
  • Line 5: three verbs
  • Line 6: two adjectives
  • Line 7: a single noun (a word referent for the noun in line 1)

Share this example:

  • Birds Noisy, Hungry
  • Singing, Flying, Nesting
  • Feathers, Wings, Beaks, Tails
  • Perching, Soaring, Pecking
  • Cheerful, Busy
  • Chirpers

Point out that “Chirpers” is a word referent for “Birds” – it is another way of saying the same thing.

3) Review the parts of speech: Noun: a person, place, or thing Adjective: describing word Verb: action word

4) MODEL a diamante poem with your class, using a springtime theme. Here are some topics to consider: Flowers, Baseball, Gardens, Picnics, Bunnies, Rain, Ice cream

5) GUIDED PRACTICE: Have children work in small groups to create their own diamante poem. Provide them with a template to help with the visual form:

__________

__________ _________

__________ _________ ___________

_________ __________ __________ ___________

__________ _________ ___________

__________ _________

_____________

Circulate as they work, offering assistance and affirmation. OPTION: Have students take advantage of the thesaurus feature on the computer to help generate related words.

6) When finished, display their poems!