Lesson Plan

Diamante Poems

A “brilliant” style of poetry that reinforces three parts of speech

Students will be able to...

  • recognize word patterns within a poem.
  • identify pairs to antonyms (relationships between words).
  • compose a poem following the diamante form and structure.
English Language Arts
Grades 3 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Take a moment to review or brainstorm the types of poetry students already are familiar with. Use Corkulous to compile a group-think list (e.g., haiku, tanka, couplet, sonnet, nursery rhymes).

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Presenting

Then, to introduce the structure and form of a diamante (dee-uh-MAHN-tay) poem, put the following example on the board:


playful, loyal

nipping, barking, chasing

frolicking through the backyard

stretching, mewing, sleeping

independent, curious


Ask students what they observe about the poem (the diamond shape, pattern of words, etc.). Explain that this type of poetry, developed by an American poet, Iris Tiedt, in 1969 (not very old!), has a particular structure:

  • There are seven lines of poetry
  • There is a pattern to the number of words per line: 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1
  • This pattern helps form an overall diamond shape for the poem (hence, “diamante”)
  • Diamante poems either focus on synonyms (think: ocean – sea) or antonyms (think: day - night).
  • Each line has different type of word. Lines 1 and 7 list nouns (the poem’s subjects), lines 2 and 6 list related adjectives, lines 3 and 5 list -ing verbs (present participles), and line 4 either has a four-word, transitional phrase related to the subjects or lists four nouns, two related to first subject and two related to last subject.

Consider creating a visual to share with students:

noun (subject #1)

adjective, adjective

-ing verb, -ing verb, -ing verb

four-word phase or list of four nouns

-ing verb, -ing verb, -ing verb

adjective, adjective

noun (subject #2)

3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

First, tell students that they will be creating diamante poems about antonyms. As a whole group, brainstorm opposing concepts or subjects. Take some artistic license: summer – winter, peanut butter - jelly, water - land, caterpillar - butterfly, mountain - valley, city - country, mouse - elephant, sun - moon, north - south, upstairs – downstairs, war – peace. In small groups (or as a whole class), have students choose a pair of antonyms for a diamante poem. Next, students should use bubbl.us to create group mind maps, in which each group brainstorms nouns, adjectives, and verbs related to their chosen antonym pair.

4 Independent Practice

Using ReadWriteThink’s interactive template, Diamante Poems (http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/diamante_poems_2/), ask students to work on individual diamante poems. Remind them that they can use their group’s bubbl.us mind maps as a resource, but they also can think of other words. Challenge them to be clever with the 4th line (transitional four-word phrase or two words related to first subject/two words related to last subject).  Lastly, ask them to save and/or print the poems. 

5 Wrap-Up

For homework, students can use VoiceThread to create a class poetry jam. Have students create slides for their poems. Students should begin by uploading an image (photo or original art) related to their poem. Then, they should add their poems (via text or doodle). Finally, ask students to record themselves reading their poems. This slideshow of students’ poems can be shared easily with families or showcased at a parent engagement night.