To reflect on what they have learnt during the lesson, my students sometimes spend the last part of the lesson writing a short poem, the cinquin.
The cinquin consists of five lines which don't rhyme. I first explain how to write each line:
- name the subject (usually one noun)
- describe the subject in two words (two adjectives)
- three verbs that describe actions related to the subject
- a phrase consisting of four words that express the student's feeling about the subject
- one word which is a synonym for the subject and summarizes once again the topic
The form of the poem looks simple but to write a good cinquin you have to reflect and analyze critically what you have learnt and how you feel about it. To create your poem, you go throughthe notes, think about them and search for the right words – you only need a few of the most important.
I usually do the activity in pairs. First, each student works on his or her version for approximately five minutes, then they share their poems with partners. In pairs, they talk about their creations, discuss the reasons for using different words and create together one poem, using the parts of the poems they first had. When they finish the poems, they share them with the group.
This is a cinquin I wrote about British Council’s Bogathon, a very interesting event that took most of my free time during last four weeks. Just like my students during the last part of the lesson, I tried to express my thoughts and feelings about this event. This cinquin was born in the first hour of the last day of Blogathon:
reading, writing, reflecting.
Great Teachers All Win.