I tried something new this year with third grades for National Poetry Month. We tackled writing cinquain poems. I read poetry to students during April, having all grades involved with poetry in some way. April is also the time when third through fifth grades take part in state standardized testing, so I need flexible and fun activities for the students. I think poetry doesn’t get enough time in the classroom (I heard somewhere that we value what we can test….) so I like putting the spotlight on poetry for all students.
Cinquain Poems-Shape Poetry
A cinquain poem is a type of shape poetry consisting of five lines which forms a symmetrical shape as the writer follows a formula of a certain number of words per line. I was inspired by a post on the WriteShop website (writeshop.com/writing-a-cinquain-poem). I created a graphic organizer so students could follow the directions, brainstorm and be successful.
After explaining what a cinquain poem was, I had a graphic organizer for each student and dictionaries and thesauri on hand at each table. We worked on the poems for three library visits. During the first two sessions the students used the graphic organizer to brainstorm and refine their writing.
At the last session they rewrote their poem on a new sheet of paper and added art work. They were proud of their poems!