During this two-week session, students will be introduced to a new poetic genre through which they will learn to make use of concise descriptive language to convey a concept or pictorial image. Questions concerning the characteristics of select predaceous insects and their prey will be used to develop descriptive words for use in the poetic creation.
"Hey There Stink Bug" by Leslie Bulion
Writing sessions will span a two-week, three days per week's duration, at 55 minutes per writing session. Extend the time period for project completion if required.
According to my students, a diamante is "a special type of poem that's like Math and Writing combined." A diamante consists of a tightly knit 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 syllabic word pattern. The first line includes one noun. The second includes two adjectives that describe the first noun. The third line includes three verbs that each end in "ing," with each of the three verbs complementing the first noun. Line four includes four nouns, with the first two correlating with the initial noun; the remaining two words mark the beginning of an antonym word pattern. Continue using opposing descriptions until the 3-2-1 pattern is completed. The final word represents the antonym for the noun used in the onset of the poem. Creating a diamante entails much thinking. Before crafting our poem, my students came up with a listing of words to best describe our two select insects:
Fluttering. Stalking. Munching.
Coleoptera.. Mandibles, Stylets. Homoptera.
Crawling. Piercing. Hiding,
Notice how this poetic work concisely portrays the relationship between predator and prey. Based on insect observations, discovered answers to student-initiated inquiry, research, and learned vocabulary, my students collectively came up with this descriptive example. They went on to create diamantes of their own. Poetic works varied across student ability levels; however, my budding writers across the board demonstrated that they grasped and had fun tackling this challenging language arts concept.
The Finishing Touch.
Upon completing our whole group diamante creation, I provided my students with an 8 ½" x 11" print out of the above poetry creation. My students decided to add a finishing touch by tracing a border around the shape of the poem. "It looks like a rhombus!" one student exclaimed. "No, it looks like a diamond," clamored another. The children collectively deduced that the geometric shape revealed how this poetic form got its name. They went on to illustrate each respective corner that pertained to insect and its attributes. As a follow-up homework and supplemental in class assignment, they went on to create impressive diamantes using this illustration technique.