Lesson: Cinquain

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify the common structures of cinquain poetry and write their own examples.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins):  Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to a partner during this lesson.  We have been working hard the past few days to identify new types of poetry.  Today we will focus on a type of poetry called a cinquain. 

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins):  A cinquain is a five line poem that describes a noun.  Who can remind me what the definition of a noun?  Teacher calls on a student to respond.  Students should respond a noun is a person, place, or thing.  There is a format to follow when writing cinquains as well.  Look at this poem titled, Penguins.  Teacher reveals chart paper with the poem written.

Black, white
Swimming, jumping, fishing
All the penguins jump down into the water.

The first line is always one word that is a noun.  In this poem the noun is penguins.  This lets me know the rest of the poem will be about penguins.

The second line always has two adjectives, or words that describe a noun.  In this poem the adjectives are black and white.  These two words describe what a penguin looks like.

The third line always contains three verbs or action words with the ending –ing.  Penguins normally swim, jump, and fish. 

The fourth line is a phrase, or a sentence about the noun.  For example, in this poem the sentence is, “ all penguins jump down into the water.”  The sentence is still related to the topic but describes something more about penguins.

Finally, the fifth line of a cinquain poem, is one word.  This one word is a synonym for the title of the poem.  Birds is a synonym for penguins in our example above.  The writer simply renamed the noun from the first line.

All cinquain poems follow this five line structure.  Let’s look at another example together.  Teacher shows another chart paper with the poem, Moon written.

Dark, holes
Moving, changing, repeating
The moon revolves around the earth in one month.

Turn to your partner and take turns reading this poem aloud.  What do you notice about the structure of the poem?  Students should respond citing examples from the previous poem including the adjectives and verbs.  You all did a great job discussing that poem.  Today, during workshop time continue to work on finding examples of cinquains in your poetry packets.  You may return to your seats.

Independent Reading (15-20 mins):  Students should read through their poetry packets at this time.  While reading, they should try to identify examples of cinquain poetry.  If they find an example, the student should alert the teacher.  If there is time at the end of the lesson, students may share out their findings.

Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Students will complete an exit slip requiring them to identify a cinquain and write their own example.  Students may also share out examples they found during independent reading time.

Reflection: Cinquains incorporate a lot of concepts students have already learned throughout the year including, synonyms, and parts of speech.  Some students may need additional help with identifying the parts of speech.  If so they maybe paired with a higher student for independent reading time. 

Lesson Resources

Cinquain Exit Slip  


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