In my early years of teaching a colleague insisted that I “had to” teach diamante poems in writing. I remember her insisting that they were “easy to use.” “Kids get it.” ”It’s an easy poetry mark.”
So I cringed and did it. They were easy. They offered no chance for children to think.
This was a perfect example of “doing poetry” instead of writing.
I vowed never to use them again.
… until today.
I was thinking about empathy and the opportunities that we have at school to encourage our students to explore tensions between differing perspectives. The diamante, when used properly, is a wonderful tool to expose these tensions. Moreover, writing these poems encourages students to think about perspectives that might challenge their own.
So, I’m going to hack the diamante to try to make it something of value.
I’ll also use it for a writing mark 😉