Encouraging kids to write poetry is a language lesson in itself. They need to compact language, using only a few words to describe their subject, feelings or its impact. Brainstorming adjectives and verbs that describe your subject can expand a child’s vocabulary.
Since it is Poetry Month, one of my students was asked to write Cinquain poems. A Cinquain poem (pronounced sing-cane) is a poem of few words that describes a noun. The order of lines is as follows:
Line 1: a one word title that is a noun
LIne 2: two words that describe the topic (adjectives)
Line 3: three action words related to the topic ending in -ing. (participles)
Line 4: four to five words expressing your feeling about the topic
Line 5: the same word as line 1 or a synonym
In introducing this new form of poems, it might be helpful to show kids the website, Kennth’s Cinquain Poems, where second grader Kenneth shares his poems complete with illustraions.
My student chose to write a poem about worms:
wiggling, eating, crawling
too wet for me
It is actually fun to be selective about words.