Diamante Poems | Rhyme Schemes | Rhymes | Acrostic Poems | Quatrains | Haiku | Limericks | Clerihew | Tanka | Free Verse | Simile | Metaphor | Alliteration 

Combine teaching these pattern based poems with the “Pattern Based Writing: Quick and Easy Essay” writing program and your students will be both highly effective and highly creative authors!

Diamante Poems

Keys to the Diamante Poem:
• Has seven lines formed in the shape of a diamond.
• You can base the poem around either synonyms or antonyms. What’s similar or what’s the complete opposite?
• Using antonyms seems to be the more popular version. “Two sides of the same coin” is a fun and interesting concept to explore. It’s the “ying and the yang” that makes it so much fun!
• There is a turning point midway through the poem where the focus shifts from one subject to the other subject.

Line 1: One noun (Subject 1)
Line 2: Two adjectives describing the Subject 1 noun
Line 3: Three Gerunds (verb + -ing) connected to Subject 1
Line 4: Four nouns – Two connected to Subject 1 and two connected to Subject 2
Line 5: Three Gerunds (verb + -ing) connected to Subject 2
Line 6: Two adjectives describing the Subject 2 noun
Line 7: One noun (Subject 2)

Funny, playful
Ripping, running, licking
Ball, leash, bell, mouse
Stalking, sleeping, watching
Silly, cuddly

Rhyme Schemes

 To really use rhymes in an effective manner rhyme schemes are important for the teacher to be aware of. Rhyme schemes most often represented using the letters “A” and “B.” Rhyme schemes show you the pattern of the rhyme.

Examples of rhyme schemes:
AABB – hat, cat, top, mop
ABAB – hat, top, cat, mop
ABBA – hat, top, mop, cat
AABA – hat, cat, top, sat


Word families are a great place to start with rhymes.

 –ack, -ail, ake, -all, -ame, -ank, -ar, -ash, -ate, -ay, -eep, -ell, -ick, -ide, -ight, -ile, -ing, -ink, -it, -oat, -ock, -oil, -oke, -ook, -oom, -ood, -ool, -ore, -ought, -ouse, -ow, -ump, -unk!!

Nursery rhymes are riddled with these word families.

Fun Idea – Choose a nursery rhyme and try substituting different word families.

Hickery, dickery doc, the mouse ran up the clock.
Hockery, dockery, ick, the mouse became quite sick.  

Acrostic Poems

Keys to the Acrostic Poem:
• The letters in the title of your poem become the first letter in each line of your poem.
• If the title of your poem is “HAT” your poem will be three lines and if your title is “ELEPHANT” your poem will be eight lines.

Example: HAT
Held on the tip-top of your head,
A thing of warmth or beauty,
To be worn, warm, and admired!


Keys to the Quatrain:
• Four lines
• There are many different rhyming patterns that can be considered correct. (Alternating, Enveloping…)
• Many follow these rhyme schemes (AABB, ABAB, ABBA, ABCB, AABA)
• It is great (but not absolutely necessary) if you can make the rhyming lines have the same number of syllables!

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
              By William Blake


Keys to the Cinquain:
• Five lines
• Unrhymed
• Contains either a word count or syllable count. Modern versions use the word count.

• Line 1: One noun that is both the subject and title.
• Line 2: Two adjectives describing the Line 1 noun.
• Line 3: Three verbs with –ing that tell an action related to the Line 1 noun.
• Line 4: Four words in a complete sentence that describe a feeling about the Line 1 noun.
• Line 5: One word that means the same thing as the Line 1 noun.

Example: Beach
Sandy, salty
Swimming, playing, sunning
I love the beach.


Keys to the Haiku:
• Three lines
• No rhyme. 
• Nature based
• Count the syllables!

• Line 1 – 5 Syllables
• Line 2- 7 Syllables
• Line 3 – 5 Syllables

Cold arctic winds blow
Around majestic glaciers
Now melting, soon lost


Keys to the Limerick:
• Contains five lines
• It’s a joke, a rhyme, a funny poem all wrapped up in one!
• Contains one couplet and one triplet. (Line 1, 2 and 5 rhyme. Lines 3, 4 rhyme.)
• Often contains exaggeration, play on words, and just plain silliness.

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’
          By Edward Lear


Keys to the Clerihew:
• Four lines
• Lines 1 and 2 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme. (AABB)
• Line 1 contains the name of a character.
• Light, funny, and even silly.

Robert Wise
The horse he road was a big surprise.
It is tall and big, and I don’t know how
But it seems the horse he rides is really a cow.

Couplets, Triplets and Quadruplets

Keys to Couplets, Triplets and Quadruplets:
• Can be an entire poem in itself or just one part of a larger poem.
• Rules and complexity seem to vary on couplets, triplets and quadruplets based on how simple or complex the teacher wants to make it for their students.
• Each line rhymes, most of the time.
• Each line contains the same or a similar meter.
• Ideally each line will have the same number of syllables.
• Couplet – Two lines that rhyme and have the same or similar meter.
• Triplet – Two lines that rhyme and have the same or similar meter.
• Quadruplet – Two lines that rhyme and have the same or similar meter.


Keys to the Tanka:
• Five lines.
• Each line has a specific syllable count.  (5-7-5-7-7)
• Does not rhyme
• Traditional themes are nature, seasons, friendship, and love 

Line 1: 5 Syllables
Line 2: 7 Syllables
Line 3: 5 Syllables
Line 4: 7 Syllables
Line 5: 7 Syllables

Happy days are here
Good weather and my good friends 
Spending time well spent
Days are long and time runs fast.
Grateful in life, day and night.

Free Verse

Keys to Free Verse:
• No set pattern or structure.
• Doesn’t rhyme or have a specific rhythm. However, it is acceptable if there is some rhyme or some rhythm.
• Often used to express “deep thoughts” or “deep emotions.” 

The wily winds blew down barren landscapes.
Free yet contained by natures forces.
Caught in the middle,
A pioneer,
Heading west, west, west…


Keys to Similes:
• Compares things that are unalike.
• Uses the words “like, as”
• Have some fun and use “as if” and “as though”

The little boy rode his tricycle proudly, as if he were the ruler of both land and time. 


Keys to Metaphors:
• Makes a comparison of two things by saying that one is the other.
• If the question is “To be, or not to be?” with metaphors the answer is “It is!”

• It is raining cats and dogs…
• All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
William Shakespeare: As You Like It


Keys to Alliteration:
• Words in a sequence which begin with the same stressed consonant sound.
• Alliteration makes things easy to remember and easy on the ears.
• Why use alliteration? Just ask a kid!  “Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck, Fred Flintstone, Woody Woodpecker, Wonder Woman, Road Runner, Porky Pig, Roger Rabbit, Richie Rich, Mighty Mouse, George of the Jungle, Huckleberry Hound, Peter Pan, Captain Crunch…”
• Why use alliteration? Just ask, “Coca Cola.” It has worked well for them!

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