What is a Cinquain?
A "cinquain" is a type of poem. There are many
types of cinquain, but most of them have five lines.
(Did you know that cinq is the French word for
We're going to discuss the "didactic
cinquain," a type of poem that many elementary school
students learn to write. (Don't worry if you don't know
what "didactic" means — we don't either!)
In this type of cinquain, the five lines are
usually used this way:
Line 1 — a noun
(a word that refers to a thing, such as apple
or book or elephant).
Line 2 — two
adjectives, or describing words, that tell
the reader about that thing.
Line 3 — three words
ending in -ing that are related to the
thing, maybe saying what it does.
Line 4 — a four-word
phrase (group of words) about the thing, or about
the way it makes you feel.
Line 5 — another
noun that is a synonym of (means the
same as) the noun in line 1, or else is a different way
of looking at that thing.
You might want to add a title to your
cinquain, but some students just think of line 1 as
being the title.
Visit our Examples
page to see a couple of cinquains.