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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.

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Activity

Write a Gem of a Poem

 

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Write a Gem of a Poem

Grades 5 – 8
Activity Time 45 minutes or longer, depending on how many poems are written
Publisher International Reading Association
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

Glossary

 

What You Need

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Here's What To Do

Before starting the activity, familiarize yourself with diamante poems and the Diamante Poems online tool that children will use to create their poems. Also review the idea of cause and effect with the aid of the resources listed under “What You Need.” You might print a sample diamante poem to show the diamond-shaped structure; you can print the example poems from the Diamante Poem online tool or from the Diamante Poems website.

If you need a grammar brush-up, see Parts of Speech Help. You might also consider sharing this with children you are working with.

1. Talk with your child about diamante poems and show an example or two.

2. Open a discussion about the concept of cause and effect. Help the child fully understand the idea and then invite him or her to give a personal example or two. Explain that your child’s poem will explore this cause and effect. Use the Cause and Effect Definition Sheets and the Cause and Effect Questioning Frames to talk about this in more depth.

3. Using the Diamante Poem Format, review the parts of speech (adjectives, -ing words, etc.) that will be used in the cause and effect poem.

4. Open the Diamante Poems tool together. Note that the tool gives examples of antonym and synonym diamante poems. Click on “Get Started” to show the child how the tool requests the words that will be used in the poem.

5. Help the child select a cause and effect topic for this activity. The topic can be humorous: What happens if Mom leaves her coffee cup on the car roof or Dad drops his cell phone into his iced tea? It can also reflect your child’s personal interests: If the world continues to spew out carbon emissions at this rate, what will happen next? Your child can use the Cause and Effect Questioning Frames to flesh out the topic.

6. Give the child some time to write and revise the poem using the online tool.

7. Print out the finished poem. Did your child’s poem meet the requirements of the diamante format? (If it didn’t, it might still be a fine poem.) Gently encourage your child to revise, if necessary, and write other diamante poems.

8. Join in the exercise by writing one of your own and inviting other family members to do so also. Your child could help a younger sibling write a diamante poem, giving the older child a chance to share what’s been learned. The child might even like to write one from a pet’s perspective.

Visit the Diamante Poems page for more information about this tool.

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Glossary

Cause and effect

 

The relationship between one event and another when the second happens as a direct consequence of the first. For example: The wet floor was slippery [cause], so the little boy fell [effect].

Diamante poem

 

A poem whose longest line comes in the middle, creating a diamond-like shape. Sometimes written in a cause-and-effect format.

Parts of speech

 

The categories used in grammar to group different types of words, such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives.

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