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PIZZAZ has been an Online Resource since 1995 from Leslie Opp-Beckman
For Scribblers and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)


Description for Diamante Poems: Contain opposing concepts which meet in the middle line, structured in a diamond shape per the examples and instructions below.

ESOL student level:
These activities scale well to beginner through advanced level proficiency and can be used with all ages.

For more activities:
Return to PIZZAZ!

Warm-Up Activities

Link the diamante poems to events or experiences such as a nature walk just off campus, closure for a certain class activity/unit,an end-of-term remembrance, etc.

Briefly examine structured forms of poetry from students' native languages as an introduction, e.g. Haiku poetry from Japanese.

Make up your own examples, using simpler or more complex vocabulary/topics, to tailor this activity to your particular students' level.


  1. Students work in small groups of 3-5. Each group has one example poem, and the tasks:
    a) Identify the structure / form of the poem (what are the parts of speech in each line); and,
    b) Report orally and informally to the rest of the class on the feeling / tone of the poem.
    c) Answer the questions: What is the relationship between the first and last lines? What is the "middle" of the poem (the transition point), and how can you tell?
    Students can use dictionaries, as necessary, to figure out unfamiliar words. Example diamante poem:

  2. Title of Poem:
    Author of Poem:
    All-Class Poem, AEI-Creative Writing I

        Parts of Speech:
    Line 1: Winter = 1 noun. The topic or theme of the poem (and, the opposite of line 8).
    Line 2: Rainy, cold = 2 adjectives. They describe the noun in line 1.
    Line 3: Skiing, skating, sledding = 3 gerunds (verb + ing). They describe the noun in line 1.
    Line 4: Mountains, wind, breeze, ocean = 4 nouns: two nouns related to line 1 and two nounsrelated to line 8.
    Line 5: Swimming, surfing, scuba diving = 3 gerunds (verb + ing). They describe the noun in line 8..
    Line 6: Sunny, hot = 2 adjectives. They describe the noun in line 8.
    Line 7: Summer = 1 noun. This is an antonym (opposite) for the noun in line 1.

  3. Students report on their assigned poems. Optional: students can practice with the instructor orally beforehand and then read and/or act out their assigned poem to the class.

  4. Individual groups then "brainstorm" as many possible pairs of antonyms as they can create. The teacher puts the pairs up on the board / overhead screen as suggestions (e.g. school days-holidays, woman-man, student-teacher, love-hatred, peace-war, divorce-marriage...). Students can use a dictionary and/or thesaurus.

  5. Students and the instructor choose one of the brainstormed topics and write a diamante poem together on the board / overhead screen. Optional: copy it down and add it to the class collection if a class anthology is in the works.

  6. Working individually with a template (see example below), students write one or more diamantes on the subject(s) of their choice.

More Example Poems

Adult intermediate-level ESOL students at University of Oregon authored the example cinquain poems below. Instructors can make their own examples as well, using simpler or more complex vocabulary and topics, to tailor this activity to students' language proficiency level and interests.

Man-Woman #1
by Lukacs (male)

Brilliant, perfect
Working, learning, earning
Beer, car, mirror, make-up
Speaking, speaking, speaking
Furious, exhausted
Man-Woman #2
by Bogi and Eszter (female)

Stupid, rude
Sleeping, eating
Trousers, underpants, knickers, skirts
Working, sporting
Clever, beautiful

Take your Time...
by Rosana Tellini

Happy, fun
Sleeping, dancing, traveling
Liberty, car, beach, night
Exciting, interesting, moving
Unhappy, boring
by Soo Young

Unhappy, difficult
Boring, succeeding, sleeping
Library, pencil, card, outside
Interesting, exciting, failing
Happy, easy

by Mooil

Wonderful, beautiful
Caring, liking, thinking
Innocence, smile, tear, guilt
Fighting, violating, disgusting
Terrible, worst
The Earth
by Ivan

High, rocky
Flying, looking, killing
Eagle, power, fear, rabbit
Living, moving, making noise
Deep, beautiful

by Masato

Powerful, noisy
Dancing, dating, consuming
Explosion, energy, maturity, senility
Working, earning, saving
Quiet, peaceful

(* As in seventy, eighty)
Make up your own examples, using simpler or more complex vocabulary/topics, to tailor this activity to your particular students' level.



Title of Poem    
Author's Name    

  = 1 noun ("top")

______________________, ______________________
  = 2 adjectivesfor top noun

__________________, __________________, __________________
  = 3 gerunds for top noun

__________________, __________________, __________________ , __________________
  = 4 synonyms:
2 for top noun + 2 for bottom noun

__________________, __________________, __________________
  = 3 gerunds for bottom noun

______________________, ______________________
  = 2 adjectives for bottom noun

  = 1 noun ("bottom")


  1. Students' work can be compiled into a class anthology for reading, autographing, souvenirs, and so on.
  2. Illustrate poems with handrawn or computer-generated images.

© 2010, Leslie Opp-Beckman, Ph.D., Distance Education Coordinator and ESOL Instructor
Email: leslieob@uoregon.edu
URL: http://www.uoregon.edu/~leslieob/
5212 University of Oregon, Linguistics Department, American English Institute Eugene, Oregon 97403-5212 USA
Permission to copy and distribute for educational, non-profit use only.
This page last updated: 03 March 2010
University of Oregon