Diamante Poem Writing Assignments

Diamante:A seven-line poem that takes the shape of a diamond.

Lion
Majestic, proud
Roaring, snarling, prowling
Mane, muscle . . . Fleece, fluff
Bleating, leaping, grazing
Meek, gentle
Lamb

A Poem of Opposites

Remember that the first and last words of a cinquain are synonyms—the last word of the poem renames the first.

Diamantes, however, are poems about opposites: the first and last words have opposite meanings (or convey opposite ideas).

A diamante has seven lines that follow this sequence:

Line A: Topic A (must be a noun)
Line B: Two vivid adjectives that describe Topic A
Line C: Three interesting “-ing” action verbs that describe Topic A
Line D: Two concrete nouns about Topic A and two about Topic G
Line E: Three interesting “-ing” action verbs that describe Topic G
Line F: Two vivid adjectives that describe Topic G
Line G: Topic G (must be a noun)

Here’s another example:

Light
Clear, brilliant
Glowing, shining, revealing
Mirror, candle . . . Whisper, shadow
Deepening, sleeping, shrouding
Black, quiet
Darkness

Brainstorming

Use the tips below to brainstorm on blank paper for different ideas. Then follow the directions to write your own descriptive diamante. Because the poem has a limited number of words, choose each word carefully, avoiding vague, blah words.

Opposite Word Pair Ideas

Correct: age/youth (nouns)
Incorrect: old/young (adjectives)

  • cat/dog
  • boy/girl
  • hamburger/Coke
  • pencil/paper
  • sandals/sneakers
  • king/queen
  • fire/ice
  • thunder/lightning
  • earth/sea
  • rose/thorn
  • love/hate
  • victory/defeat
  • peace/turmoil

Line A: Name a topic (see the suggestions above for some ideas).
Line G: Name an opposite topic. (This will be the LAST line of your diamante.) Remember—topics must be nouns.
Line B: Brainstorm 5-6 vivid, concrete adjectives to describe Topic A. Do not choose words that end in “-ing.”
Line C: Brainstorm 5-6 highly descriptive participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) that fit Topic A.
Line D: Brainstorm several nouns that tell something about Topic A and Topic G. Be careful—make sure you choose NOUNS, not ADJECTIVES!
Line E: Brainstorm 5-6 highly descriptive participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) that fit Topic G.
Line F: Brainstorm 5-6 vivid, concrete adjectives to describe Topic G. Do not choose words that end in “-ing.”

Writing Your Diamante

  1. Pick out your most descriptive words from your brainstorming and put your diamante together. Diamantes do not need titles.
  2. When you are satisfied, recopy the poem onto clean notebook paper.
  3. Center your diamante on the paper.
  4. Begin each line with a capital letter, and remember your commas. Do not use ending punctuation.
  5. Include three spaced periods in the middle of Line D.
  6. When finished, double-check for concreteness!

Line A. _______
Line B. _______ , _______
Line C. _______ , _______ , _______
Line D. _______ , _______ . . . _______ , _______
Line E. _______ , _______ , _______
Line F. _______ , _______
Line G. _______

Now that you know how to write a diamante poem, I encourage you to write many more!

Photos: Kim Alaniz and Dustin Ginetz, courtesy of Creative Commons.

In this online tool, students can learn about and write diamante poems, which are diamond-shaped poems that use nouns, adjectives, and gerunds to describe either one central topic or two opposing topics (for example, night/day or winter/spring). Examples of both kinds of diamante poems can be viewed online or printed out.

Because diamante poems follow a specific format that uses nouns on the first and last lines, adjectives on the second and fourth lines, and gerunds in the third and fifth lines, this tool has numerous word-study applications. The tool provides definitions of the different parts of speech students use in composing the poems, reinforcing the connection between word study and writing. It also includes prompts to write and revise poems, thus reinforcing elements of the writing process. Students can save their draft diamante poems to revise later, and save and print their finished diamante poems.

For additional ideas on how to use this tool out of school, see Diamante Poems in the Parent & Afterschool Resources section.

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Casting Shadows Across Literacy and Science

Shadows, shadows, everywhere! In this lesson, students read fiction, informational text, and poetry about shadows to extend their knowledge of the concept before casting their own shadow poetry.

 

Grades   7 – 10  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Engineering the Perfect Poem by Using the Vocabulary of STEM

Students research engineering careers and create poetry to understand the vocabulary of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

 

Grades   6 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Making History Come Alive Through Poetry and Song

Students compare the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald with the song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," then create their own poetry about a historical event.

 

Grades   K – 5  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing Poetry

Theme Poems

Formerly known as Shape Poems, this online tool allows elementary students to write poems in various shapes.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing Poetry

Acrostic Poems

This online tool enables students to learn about and write acrostic poems. Elements of the writing process are also included.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Mobile App  |  Writing Poetry

Diamante Poems

In this app, users can learn about and write diamante poems, which are diamond-shaped poems that use nouns, adjectives, and gerunds to describe either one central topic or two opposing topics (for example, night/day or winter/spring). Examples of both kinds of diamante poems can be viewed online or printed out.

 

Grades   3 – 6  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 26

Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Students select a poem and create a Stapleless Book using the interactive tool.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  March 21

Today is World Poetry Day.

Students read and respond to Billy Collins' poem "Introduction to Poetry." Students then write about a favorite poem and imagine the perfect way to read it.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 1

April is National Poetry Month!

Students are assigned to be "poets of the day" and are provided several models to create, illustrate, and present their different poems to the class.

 

Grades   2 – 6  |  Printout  |  Writing Starter

Haiku Starter

This graphic organizer provides students the opportunity to brainstorm words about a given topic, count and record the syllables, and draft a haiku.

 

Grades   3 – 8  |  Printout  |  Writing Starter

Diamante Poem

This tool will allow your students to create a diamante poem by reflecting on their knowledge of a topic and by using nouns, verbs, and adjectives in a creative manner.

 

Grades   3 – 8  |  Professional Library  |  Journal

Poets in Practice

This article discusses the need to engage students and teachers in active poetry writing.

 

Grades   4 – 6  |  Activity & Project

Think Hink Pinks!

Kids will love Hink Pinks—word puzzles that use two-word clues to lead to a rhyming solution. Try one and get hooked yourself: Obese feline? Fat cat!

 

Grades   5 – 8  |  Activity & Project

Write a Gem of a Poem

Learn about diamante poems, and then consider the idea of cause and effect before working it into the diamante poem format.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Game & Tool

Diamante Poems

Diamante poems are poems where the longest line comes in the middle, creating a diamond-like shape. The Diamante Poems tool helps children write these patterned poems.

 

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