You can teach students of all ages how to write a diamante poem. Once they’re familiar with three basic parts of speech—nouns, verbs, and adjectives—your students can eagerly jump in and let their creativity soar!
What is a Diamante Poem?
A diamante poem (dee-uh-mahn-tay) is an unrhymed poem that follows a specific format of seven lines. The first and last lines are short while the middle lines are longer so that the poem takes the shape of a diamond once complete (hence the name diamante, the Italian word for diamond).
How to Write a Diamante Poem
When teaching your students how to write a diamante poem, a good starting point is to introduce its structure. This type of poem follows a simple formula:
Line 1: Noun
Line 2: Two adjectives that describe the noun in line 1
Line 3: Three action verbs that end in “-ing” and relate to the noun in line 1
Line 4: Four nouns (the first two should relate to the noun in line 1, and the second two should relate to the noun in line 7)
Line 5: Three action verbs that end in “-ing” and relate to the noun in line 7
Line 6: Two adjectives that describe the noun in line 7
Line 7: Noun
There are two types of diamante poems: a synonym diamante and an antonym diamante. Let’s take a look at some key differences between the two.
Synonym Diamante Poem
In a synonym diamante, the nouns in the first and last lines should have the same or a similar meaning. This type of diamante is very similar to a cinquain, where the last word of the poem renames the first.
Antonym Diamante Poem
Antonym diamantes describe two opposing things, places, emotions, or ideas. So, the nouns that are chosen for lines 1 and 7 should have opposite meanings. The descriptive words that are chosen in the beginning half of the poem should relate to the first noun, and then halfway through, a set of opposing words should describe the second noun.
Diamante Poem Examples
Now that you know the structure and two types of diamante poems, it’s helpful to look at a few examples. Here’s one example of a synonym diamante poem about lilac flowers.
Budding, blooming, beaconing
Blossom, stem, summer, scent
Sniffing, picking, savoring
Do you notice how the words relate to each other while following the diamante structure? Now let’s look at an example of an antonym diamante poem.
Glowing, shining, revealing
Mirror, candle, whisper, shadow
Deepening, sleeping, shrouding
Now do you see the transition that happens in line 4 when the words go from describing “light” to “darkness?” Here’s another example of an antonym diamante about two contrasting animals.
Roaring, snarling, prowling
Mane, muscle, fleece, fluff
Bleating, leaping, grazing
Ready to help your student write one of their own? Let’s get started!
Phase 1: Brainstorming
Because a diamante poem doesn’t contain many words, it’s important to choose each one very carefully. Instead of choosing weak, lifeless words, encourage your students to use rich words that convey clear meaning. If you haven’t already, be sure to teach them how to use a thesaurus to find stronger words.
The trickiest part is deciding what your two nouns are going to be for lines 1 and 7, since they are the focus of your poem. If you need inspiration, here are some ideas for word pairings:
The following steps are how we recommend brainstorming for a diamante poem:
Step 1: Choose a noun for line 1 (this will be Topic A).
Step 2: Choose either a similar or opposite noun for line 7 (this will be Topic B).
Step 3: Come up with 5–6 vivid adjectives to describe Topic A. Don’t choose words that end in “-ing.”
Step 4: Think of 5–6 highly descriptive participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) that relate to Topic A.
Step 5: Make a list of 4–5 nouns that relate to Topic A, then do the same for Topic B.
Step 6: Brainstorm 5–6 highly descriptive participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) that fit Topic B.
Step 7: Brainstorm 5–6 vivid, concrete adjectives to describe Topic B. Do not choose words that end in “-ing.”
Phase 2: Write the Diamante Poem
Now that your students have lots of ideas, they’re ready to write their diamante! Share these instructions with them.
- Pick out the most descriptive words that you brainstormed, then create a rough draft of your poem. Diamantes don’t need titles.
- Read over your draft, and adjust any word choices as needed.
- When you are satisfied, recopy the poem onto clean notebook paper with your diamante centered on the page.
- Begin each line with a capital letter and remember to use commas. Do not use ending punctuation.
- When finished, double-check that your poem looks similar to the blank one below.
Line 1. _______
Line 2. _______ , _______
Line 3. _______ , _______ , _______
Line 4. _______ , _______ , _______ , _______
Line 5. _______ , _______ , _______
Line 6. _______ , _______
Line 7. _______
Now your students know how to write a diamante poem! If you’re looking to incorporate more engaging writing lessons and activities into your instruction, be sure to check out the WriteShop curriculum! This award-winning program helps foster positive writing experiences for even the most reluctant young writers.