Grade: Elementary

#2436. Cinquin Poetry (4th or 5th)

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Nov 22 08:07:39 PST 2001 by Scott Shirley (
Student Teacher, Rochester, NY
Materials Required: nothing
Activity Time: as long as you want.
Concepts Taught: Writing Poetry

This is one of my favorite lessons. I feel that a lot of prep work has to be done if this is to be a good lesson. I use a lot of example on poster board.

I fisrt tell the class that this is called a Cinquain Poem. I tell them that "cinq" in French means 5, and there are 5 lines in a Cinquin Poem.

On the poster board I have:

Line 1 = One Word
(the rest of this is covered up, I want them to see the pattern)
Line 2 = 2 words
Line 3 = 3 words
Line 4 = 4 words
Line 5 = 1 word.

For line 5, I tell the class that in this poem, the last line is the same as the first line.

I then ask the class "Is the shape of a poem improtant?" Then I explain that you want to center the words on the page, so it looks like the poem is going out.

One of the many examples I use is this:

Harry Potter
he has firends
the boy who lived

Then when they are done with the poem, they can draw a picture of it.

How to avoid "I don't know what to write". You'll want to take the time to Brainstorm many ideas.

When this is done, have your students share what they wrote.