The following is an excerpt from my SECRET LANGUAGE OF STORIES column over at the Spellbinders Blog.
Last month in my SECRET LANGUAGE OF STORIES column I discussed The Major Impact of Minor Characters and gave suggestions for several short forms that could be used to explore them such as the epigram and the epitaph. A fun activity making headstones was described.
Another short form I enjoy is the cinquain. Cinquains are also a great way to explore characters. They are short, just five lines long as the name illustrates, so it's important to capture the essence of a character with as few words as possible. It's also a good activity for students who struggle with written language.
Writing character cinquains can be part of a book report or a stand alone activity. They can be used to create a "cast of characters" and because so much white space is left on the page, other artwork may accompany the project.
Because it's a poem, ideas are more important than grammar and punctuation. Ironically though, students are still exploring grammar because the cinquain focuses on using parts of speech to create each line.
To read about the basic format of the cinquain and to find an example of a cinquain chain from my verse novel FORGET ME NOT, check out the rest of my article over at the Spellbinders Blog. .