Cinquain poems for kids were first introduced in the early 20th century by a poet from America, Adelaide Crapsey. These five-lined poems are popular among children because they have just a few words that do not have to rhyme in every line, making them easy and fun to remember. Cinquain poems have been inspired by Japanese poems, haiku, and tanka. It also resembles limericks because of the five-line structure.
Learn more about children’s cinquain poems in this post.
What Is A Cinquain Poem?
Cinquain, pronounced as sin-cane, is an easy-to-write poetry style as it has only five lines, with few words in each line. The first and the last lines have only two syllables, whereas the middle verses have a few more words. This writing style gives a diamond shape or a tree-like shape to the poem. It is usually written in iambic meter.
The most common type of cinquain is the American cinquain. A variant of the American cinquain, known as didactic cinquain. These poems can be used to teach or introduce poetry to kindergarten or primary school students.
Though they are only five lines long, cinquains tell us a story. Not just description words, they also have action words or conclusions.
How To Write Cinquain Poems?
There are different methods of writing a cinquain. Here we share the traditional style as defined by Crapsey. While writing a cinquain poem, there are a few basic rules to follow.
- Cinquains should have five lines.
- They should have two syllables in the first line, four syllables in the second line, six syllables in the third, eight syllables in the fourth, and two syllables in the last line.
- Cinquains need not necessarily have rhyming words. It is up to the writer to include them or not.
Let your children follow these simple and easy steps to learn how to write cinquain poems.
- Set your imagination free and then choose or decide the topic you want to write about.
- Brainstorm for some words and phrases that are apt and suit your topic.
- Think about the suitable short story you want to tell using those words.
- While making sure that your syllable count matches the cinquain form of writing, jot down the words and phrases you have decided for forming a cinquain poem.
10 Examples Of Cinquain Poems For Kids
Listed below are a few examples of some simple cinquain poems. Make learning literature fun for your children and let them read these to get some inspiration.
Enjoy it today
Like there’s no tomorrow
2. The Days Of School
Work! Work! Work! Too much work!
The last days are always the best
– David Kulczyk
And to clean
An ambrosia for life
– Chandra Thiagarajan
4. Drifting Clouds
Across the horizon
Looking for a dry
– Heather Burns
Creating, flowing, demolishing,
Energy that is life and death
– Anita Sehgal
6. Seal Pup
Color of snow
Camouflage will not be
Enough to fool the nose of great
– Kim Barney
7. Ice Cream
I love ice cream
I could eat it all-day
But it always gives me toothache
– David Wood
Span endless sky
Through distant lands and seas
Colors connecting you and I
– Cynthia Buhain-Baello
9. The Sky
Grows light and pink
As the sun rises and
Warms the sleepy mountains with a
– Maria Herron
As you try to take back harsh words
Spoken far too quickly;
It’s hard to say
– C Richard Miles
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are cinquains usually about?
Cinquain poems can be used to give a vivid image of anything, be it a person, place, food, or scenery.
2. Where do cinquain poems come from?
The origin of cinquain poems dates back to medieval French poetry and has examples in the European languages book (1).
3. Why is it called cinquain?
The term “cinquain” is derived from French, where the word “cinq” means five. These poems or stanzas are therefore composed of five lines.
Like acrostic, ode, and ballad, cinquain poems for kids are fun and easy to write. You just have to remember a few basic rules, such as it should have five lines, the first and the last lines should have two syllables, and the second, third, and fourth lines have four, six, and eight syllables, respectively. Your children may pick up any topic of their choice and create a cinquain poem based on it. So, let them read the poems provided here and understand the concept. Then, they can be imaginative and start creating their own verses. They may also try their hands on other poetry types such as acrostic, ballad, ode, couplets, and sonnets.
Infographic: Rules And Steps To Follow When Writing A Cinquain Poem
Cinquain poems are a beautiful style of poetry writing, with limited phrases, which makes it interesting yet challenging to write. So, if you are thinking of introducing your child(ren) to these poems, check out the infographic below for some rules and steps to follow when writing a cinquain poem.
Poems are a great medium to introduce a variety of emotions, human experiences and imaginations in children. Teach your child how to write cinquain poems through this video.