Sample Lesson Plan #2 - Writing an Animal Poem
To write a class poem called a Diamante, which is a diamond shaped poem. The layout of the poem is as follows:
participle participle participle
noun noun noun noun
This type of poem sets up a contrast between the subject represented by the noun in the first line and the opposite noun in the last line. Student will have an opportunity to play with words and extend their understanding of opposites and words used to describe opposites.
Diamante, contrast, opposites, and participle. Review of the terms noun, and adjective.
A lot of the fourth grade curriculum centers on the study of animals and their environments. All of the classes in our school usually go to the zoo as part of this study. I would propose that this particular lesson might take place after such a trip. Teacher: I have placed on the board pairs of words (hot, cold; sad, happy; funny, serious; etc.) Can anyone tell me something about each of these pairs? Students should be able to recognize that they are opposites.
Teacher: I was thinking that many of the animals we saw on our trip have qualities that make them the opposite of other animals. For instance when I think of a lion I think of an animal that is very dangerous and fierce. Now when I try to think of an animal that has the opposite qualities I think of a mouse which is small and not very scary. Today I thought we would try writing a new type of poem called a diamante because it is shaped like a diamond. I have the pattern here on the board and it only requires thirteen words - but very exact words. It is a poem about opposites. I’ve decided that I’m going to use the lion and the mouse to write this poem. They will be the subjects of the poem so the lion will be the noun on the top and the mouse will be the noun on the bottom. I need you to help me find the right words to finish the poem.
The lesson will continue with the teacher having the students suggest the appropriate words to use.
Here is an example of the possible poem:
Roaring, Stalking, Hungry
Big, Jungle, Cheese, Trap
Please note that the first three and one half lines describe the lion, while in the second half of the third line the description turns to the mouse which is the bottom noun in the poem.
Follow Up Activities:
The poem can be written and displayed in the class. Students may want to copy it down in their writing journals. The format should remain available for students to try on their own. At another time the diamante can be used to write about seasons or weather, etc. Students will benefit from seeing the multiplicity of purpose a poetical form can have.