Cinquain Writing Activity

Define

A cinquain (pronounced “sing-cane”) is a simple five line poem that's fun to write.

Cinquains do not need to rhyme but they have to follow a certain pattern using syllables.

Explain

So first things first… what is a syllable?

A syllable is a part of a word that has one vowel sound,
e.g. cat, dog, book
these words all have one syllable.

Chic-ken, rab-bit, kit-ten all have two.

If you're not sure how many syllables a word has, try clapping out each vowel sound to check.

Let's see how many syllables we need in each line:

The first line has 2 syllables
The second line has 4 syllables
The third line has 6 syllables
The fourth line has 8 syllables
The fifth line has 2 syllables

Your cinquain can be on any subject. Grab your pen and make a list ofideas you could write about. When you have decided what to write about, jot down some words. The first line is usually the same as the title of the poem, but doesn’t have to be. Try to think of some good describing words (adjectives) and action words (verbs) to use in your cinquain.

Show

Here is an example of a Cinquain:

Spiders! (2)
Cobweb spinners (4)
Hairy, fast arachnid (6)
Eating juicy flies from their web (8)
Spiders! (2)

Your Turn

If you'd like your work to be considered for publication in a future book, please email your entry to info@youngwritersusa.com along with your name, age and address.

Happy writing!