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How to write a diamante poem | Homeschool writing activities

by | Apr 7, 2020 | Poetry

You can teach kids of all ages to write a diamante poem. Once they’re familiar with three basic parts of speech—nouns, verbs, and adjectives—your homeschoolers can eagerly jump in and let their creativity soar!

Diamante: A Poem of Opposites

What is a diamante? It’s a seven-line poem that takes the shape of a diamond. But there’s more to it than that! A diamante is a poem about opposites. Here’s one about a lion and a lamb.

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

You may recall that in a cinquain, the first and last words are synonyms (the last word of the poem renames the first).

Diamantes rely instead on a carefully measured number of words to describe two opposing things, places, emotions, or ideas.

As you can see from the “Lion and Lamb” diamante, a series of intentionally chosen words tells about the first subject. Halfway through, a set of opposing words describes the second subject. Our sample poem starts with a feeling of strength, power, and pride before the tone switches to one of softness, gentleness, and peace.

Teach kids and teens how to write a diamante poem. A diamante has seven lines that form a diamond shape. The first and last words have opposite meanings.

How to Write a Diamante Poem

When teaching your children how to write a diamante, always start by introducing the poem’s simple structure. This diamond-shaped poem always 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 diamante example:

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

Brainstorm for a Diamante Poem 

Brainstorming is a way to think of ideas before it’s time to write. Share the tips below with your kids and invite them to brainstorm on blank paper for different ideas. Then, have them follow the directions to write their own descriptive diamante.

>> Colorful Ways to Brainstorm with Kids
>> Freewriting and Brainstorming in Your Homeschool

Because the poem doesn’t have many words, it’s important to choose each word carefully. Instead of vague, blah words, help them pick vibrant, interesting words that convey clear meaning.

The Synonym Finder is our favorite thesaurus for grades 6 to adult!

We love the Synonym Finder! It’s the best thesaurus for helping kids find stronger words to replace dull, flat ones. Check it out if you could use a great thesaurus for your family!

Opposite Word Pair Ideas

Diamantes always start and end with a noun. While the list below gives some ideas, encourage your children to think of their own, too.

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

  • cat/dog
  • boy/girl
  • sun/moon
  • pencil/paper
  • airplane/submarine
  • sandals/sneakers
  • mountain/valley
  • city/village
  • fire/ice
  • thunder/lightning
  • earth/sea
  • baseball/football
  • fairy/goblin
  • rose/thorn
  • crystal/coal
  • cheese/crackers
  • love/hate
  • victory/defeat
  • peace/turmoil

Line A: Name a topic (see suggestions above).
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. 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.”

Write the Diamante Poem

Now that your students have lots of ideas, they’re ready to write their diamante. Share these instructions with them.

  1. Diamantes rely on strong words, so pick out the 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 your kids know how to write a diamante poem, I’m sure they’ll want to write many more!

Let's Write Imagery Poems

Poetry doesn’t have to be boring! Your kids will love Let’s Write Imagery Poems! This digital resource lets them have fun with words as they learn about the poetic devices and figures of speech that make poems so much fun to read!

Also, WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior homeschool curriculum feature at least one engaging poetry lesson in each level. Your children will have fun with poetry!