I Like Diamonds; You Like Pearls...But We Both Love POETRY!

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10631

What if we wrote poems on Opposite Day? Then we would be creating Diamante Poems! Follow these steps on how to create your own Diamante Poem about your favorite opposites like sun and moon.

categories

Writing

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

What is the difference between these two pictures below?

day and night

Take a few minutes to talk with your teacher or parent about these pictures. They seem the same in many ways; but in one very important way, they are different.

Did you say that the picture on the left is day time, and the picture on the right is night time? Great! You found the important difference.

Now you may be wondering why this difference is so very important? This type of difference is an opposite. We are going to use opposites to write a poem called a diamante. Not only does a diamante poem use opposites, it is also shaped like a diamond!

Let's Get Started!

The first step in writing a diamante is understanding opposites and antonyms, which are words that are opposites.

The word opposite, when used as a noun, means: a person, place or thing that is completely different from another person, place or thing.

Here are my friends, Ethan and Angie. They are brother and sister. Although Ethan is only two years older than Angie, he is much taller. Can you find some other ways in which this brother and sister team are opposites?

Ethan and Angie

What did you discover were opposites about Ethan and Angie? We already know that he is tall, while she is short. Angie is a girl, and Ethan is a boy. They are brother and sister; those are opposites, too. Maybe you noticed that she is wearing a skirt, and he is wearing shorts. Ethan has on his boots, and Angie has on her sneakers. You may have also noticed that Ethan has stripes on his shorts while Angie's skirt is a solid color. All of these things are opposites. Great work!

Here are a few questions you can discuss with your teacher or parent.

  • What is the opposite of cat?
  • What is the opposite of swim?
  • What is the opposite of hands?

Were you able to think of opposites for all of those words? Did you share your ideas with your teacher or parent? Awesome job; you're going to do really well with the poem!

Now let's learn about antonyms. The definition of the noun antonym is: a word that means the opposite of another word. When we talk about contrasting people, places, and things; we say that they are opposites. When we are talking about words that have opposite meanings, we call those words antonyms.

Let's talk about feelings...

When you talk about how you feel, on the inside and outside, you use describing words (adjectives and adverbs). Since feeling words (such as happy, joyful, sick, itchy, and hot) are not nouns, we need to use antonyms to show the opposite meaning.

Which antonym pair do these apples represent?

apples

Right. The one on the left is sad, while the one on the right is happy. Which one best fits your mood right now? I like the happy face; it's not fun to be sad!

Let's think of some more antonym pairs, or two words that mean the opposite of each other.

  • When it's very hot outside, it's nice to go inside and get an icy cold drink.

Can you find the antonym pair in the last sentence? Did you say hot and cold? You are correct!

Okay, one more before we get to our poem format. What is an antonym for the word rough? Talk this one through with your teacher or parent. Some words have more than one antonym; I'm sure you can think of a bunch!

Diamonds may be some girls' best friends, but I'll stick to best friends who can give hugs!

A diamante is a seven-line poem that takes the shape of a diamond when it is complete. There is a special format you need to follow, so your poem takes the proper shape and tells your unique story about opposites.

The most important thing to remember is diamantes, are poems about opposites.

Here is a short description of how to put together a diamante:

  • The first and last lines are both just one word each.
  • The words that make up the first and last lines must be opposite nouns.
  • The next three lines describe the first topic.
  • Then, in the middle of the fourth line, you transition to describing the second topic.
  • The next two lines describe the second topic.

Here is the sequence for the seven lines of a diamante poem:

  • Line 1:Noun A (Opposite of Noun B in Line 7) 
  • Line 2: Two adjectives that describe Noun A. (Adjectives are words that describe nouns.) 
  • Line 3: Three strong action verbs ending in -ing, that describe Noun A.
  • Line 4: Two concrete nouns about Noun A, and two about Noun B. (Concrete nouns are things that you can experience through your five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.) 
  • Line 5: Three strong action verbs ending in -ing, that describe Noun B.
  • Line 6: Two adjectives that describe Noun B.
  • Line 7:Noun B (Opposite of Noun A in Line 1)

I'll take you through my example before you begin your poem. This way, you can see all of the steps in the process.

  1. I need to think of a pair of opposites for the two subjects of my poem.
    This may be the most difficult step of the entire process. You may have one noun in mind that you would really like to use, but you can't think of its opposite. This is where having access to a dictionary may be useful. You can use this great Dictionary.com that sorts words by part of speech, and provides antonyms for most words. Some words just seem to have a natural or logical opposite.
    For this poem, I am selecting "water" for Noun A and "dirt" for Noun B.
  2. Next, I need two adjectives that describe, or show with words, the characteristics of water.
    Well, I know that water is "wet," but wet is a boring word. So let's click on the dictionary link, and select the Thesaurus setting. (A thesaurus gives you synonyms of a word, which means words that have the same meaning. Synonym is the opposite of antonym.) Using the thesaurus will help me to find a more interesting and vivid adjective.
    The graphic below will help you to find your way around the Thesaurus.com: 
    As you can see, I found a bunch of adjectives that have the same or very similar meaning as the word "wet." I will use the words "saturated" and "drenched." They mean the same thing, but I'm trying to make the point that water is...well, wet! You can use two very distinct adjectives if you'd like. Maybe you love water, and you think it's "fun." Or maybe you don't like water, and you'd rather use a negative adjective.
  3. On to the third line. In this line, I need to think of three interesting action verbs that are related to water and that end in –ing.
    Much like the first line, this line will require a bit of brainstorming. Feel free to write words on paper, use a graphic organizer such as a bubble map, or click around Dictionary.com for ideas. I will use "splashing," "washing," and "drinking" - all things you can do with water.
  4. Next is the tricky line. The format requires four concrete nouns: two for water and two for dirt.
    Keep in mind that a concrete noun is a person, place or thing – something or someone you can perceive through one of your five senses. A concrete noun will never be an emotion or feeling, like love or sadness, because those words are abstract nouns.
    Here are my concrete nouns: "ocean," "faucet," "mountain," "garden."
    The concrete nouns "ocean" and "faucet" are related to water. The concrete nouns that are after the three periods, "mountain" and "garden," are related to dirt. This is where the poem shifts from the first topic to it's opposite!
  5. We move backwards starting with line five. I now need three action verbs ending in –ing that relate to dirt.
    Again, you can use any means of brainstorming that works best for you.
    My verbs are "walking," "building," and "planting."
  6. I'm almost done! All I need is my last two adjectives, and then I will be ready to format my poem.
    After poking around the dictionary and thesaurus, I am going to use "messy," and "muddy."
  7. Of course, I can't forget my final line: the opposite of water, dirt.
    Now I'm all set to center and format my poem!

As you read the poem, notice the punctuation. When you are ready to write your own diamante, you will use this same exact format.

                    Water
          Saturated, drenched
     Splashing, washing, drinking
Ocean, faucet … Mountain, garden
     Walking, building, planting
             Messy, muddy
                     Dirt

Do you see the diamond shape? Pretty cool, right?

Let's practice some of the concepts you need to write a diamante, so you can write one on your own!

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.