I created a Diamante Poetry Flipchart to introduce Diamante Poems more effectively and efficiently. The sequence of this chart begins with our goal for this lesson, which is to describe rhythmic quality of poems and interpret their meanings. Students always benefit from concrete examples. The diamante is visually shaped like a diamond. Students who are used to rhyming poetry are intrigued that a diamante does not have to rhyme. However, its seven lines contain a particular order and amount of adjectives, participles, and nouns. This requires students to understand parts of speech, obtain information or have prior knowledge of adjectives, participles, and nouns.
Once I complete the activity for assessing student prior knowledge from the flip chart, I begin to fill the gaps so students have foundational knowledge that is supported by research, not solely from past experiences. Establishing background information together is essential to clarify any misconceptions students might have from their previous experiences. Therefore, a basic understanding of the learning content is established.
As students create their poems, they develop a deeper understanding of how words and phrases affect the overall structure and meaning of a poem. They are more cognizant of the quantity of words they use and how that affects the rhythm of the poem. Also, their awareness of word conventions are heightened as they choose appropriate adjectives, nouns, verbs, participles to create their Diamante poem.
I review and hand out a Diamante Template so students can write their own diamante poem. I pair students with partners to work on this project. Students use laptops to research and find examples of Diamante Poetry as part of the collaborative process with their partners. I circulate to check for understanding and formatively assess studentes via performance observations. I also listen to the dialogue between partners to understand how students process this information.
I ask students to perform the more rigorous task of "creating" their own poem. As noted on the hierarchy of Bloom's Taxonomy, creating uses higher order thinking processes. There is much more rigor to creating a poem than merely remembering, understanding, or applying what they learn from this type of poetry. Creating requires students to synthesize information, generate hypotheses, and develop new ideas that is relevant to them. Rigor and relevance are important elements in Common Core.
Students are now ready to read their poetry. Diamante Student Presentation indicate their understanding of the structure and content of a Diamante poem. After students read their poetry, I place their paper under the document camera. The class gives constructive feedback, by analyzing the poetry structure and finding errors. If errors are found, students give suggestions on ways to change and update the poem. In our situation, we needed to review parts of speech so that students know the types of words to write in the template. Student feedback is important, yet the type of feedback given is vital. I ask students to give specific feedback using the Diamante Rubric so that it is focused and specific to the learning task. It is also essential that a supportive classroom climate be established so that students understand that the purpose of feedback is to help their peers improve into a higher level in the learning progression.