The Learning Hub

Partnered Cinquain Poetry

Subject:  Language Arts

Grades:  6-8


Students will use a visual prompt or text prompt to brainstorm elements of narrative writing for a partner.  They will then take brainstorming ideas from their partner to write a narrative cinquain.


Poetry is not only a way for students to learn how to use words for expression and figurative language, but a great tool in approaching narrative writing.  Cinquains are a form of poetry that can help develop concise storytelling.  Based on syllables and structure, cinquains can appear similar or diamanté poetry.  Commonly they include a storytelling element that includes action, feelings, and a conclusion.  You can find additional information on its structure here.

The Activity

The teacher will define the structure and process of writing a cinquain.  The connection between narrative writing and cinquains will be further explained.  Examples will be shown to help students understand how cinquains can be written to tell a story.

photo 2

1.  Have students select a photo prompt of interest in the Write About This app gallery or take a photo using the iPad.  This should be a photo with action and/or at least one character experiencing an event or situation.
2.  From the selected photo, instruct students to “pass the iPad” to an assigned partner.
3.  Give the partner time to review the picture and brainstorm words and ideas for each of the following:  event, action, feeling, and conclusion.  They should write the ideas in the Write About This app.
4.  Return the iPads to it’s original student.  Each student will review the brainstorming notes from the partner and write a cinquain from it.
5.  After students have completed a rough draft of their poem, give students time to revise the poem by reviewing the words they have selected.  Invite them to use a thesaurus to find the best adjectives to articulate their ideas.
6.  After students have had a chance revising, have them create a final draft to publish and share with the teacher and family members using the share options.

What’s Next?

Supplementary activities include the following:

  • Have pairs of students take a picture of themselves doing an action as material for another pair of students to write a cinquain.
  • Do a class poetry reading of all of the cinquains to another class to the beat of an instrumental song.



Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.


Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.


Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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