Halloween Diamante Poems
Students will create a poem that shows their understanding of nouns, adjectives and present participle verb tense.
Introduction (5 minutes)
Read the following poem to your class:
"All Hallows Night" By Lizette Woodworth Reese
Two things I did on Hallows Night:— Made my house April-clear; Left open wide my door To the ghosts of the year. Then one came in. Across the room It stood up long and fair— The ghost that was myself— And gave me stare for stare.
Tell students that poetry is one way that we can get into the spirit of holidays. Tell them that they will learning how to write a poem called a “diamante” poem with a Halloween theme.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Explain that there poems can be divided into two kinds: “Open form” follows no rules. You can have as many words as you want, and choose whatever words you want. The other kind is called “closed form”. Closed form poems a certain format, or formula or rhyme pattern. Ask them to raise their hand if they have heard of a sonnet? A haiku? A Limerick? Those are all closed form.
- Display the diamante template so that all students can see it. Review the parts of speech: nouns, adjectives and participles (verbs ending in -ing).
- Display an example of a diamante poem. These can be found easily by searching “diamante poem examples” on the internet. Read the example slowly so that students can absorb every word.
- Explain that one of the keys to a great piece of writing is a great topic. In a diamante poem, it’s best to thoughtfully pick two words to juxtapose. Explain that juxtapose means to put two things together for an contrasting effect. The two words can be opposite but they don’t need to be.
- As a class, brainstorm a list of 3-5 word pairings that could be used for a Halloween poem. Suggestions: ghost/black cat, morning/night (on the day of Halloween), fun/scary, safe/scared, clothes/costume, pumpkin/vampire.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Select one word pair generated by the class and write a poem all together, using suggestions from the students. Model how to read the poem slowly so that the listener can imagine each word. Call on a few students to read the class example.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Pass out one template to each student.
- Instruct them to write their Halloween themed diamante poem.
- Circulate the room to offer help and encourage students.
- Have students write a diamante with a different theme (sports, music, etc.)
- Ask students to design their own closed form poetry structure using number of syllables, rhyme patterns or specific parts of speech.
- Have students create an artistic image to go with their poem.
- Have students work in pairs
- Provide a word bank rather than having students come up with all of the words on their own (this can be generated by the class and visible as they write)
Use the electronic poem template found on the website below to create diamante poems using computers.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Review students’ diamante poems to assess whether they followed the form accurately and understand the parts of speech.
- Have students read/perform their poems for the class (projecting and articulating appropriately)
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Review the meaning of word “juxtaposition”. Ask them what words they may want to juxtapose if they were to write a poem about baseball? Winter? School?
- Pick a different theme (such as one in the above step) and ask students to give you examples of nouns, adjectives and participles that go with that theme.