Ten Reason Your Kids Should Participate in a Summer Reading Program

by Rebecca J. Gomez When my kids were young, summer reading programs were a sure thing. For the most part, my children were avid readers, especially my girls. A summer reading program wasn't necessary to encourage them to read, but we participated because it was a fun addition to summer. And the free pizza, books, and water park tickets definitely didn't hurt! There are lots of reasons to participate in a summer reading program or challenge, and here are ten of them: 1. Many summer reading programs offer prizes. And while we all know that reading is its own reward, some kids haven't figured that out yet. For those kids, a prize is just the incentive they need to stick their noses in a book now and then over the summer. 2. It's a fun way to reward those kids who will be reading no matter what! 3. For some families, trips to the library may help break up summer monotony.  4. Summer reading programs promote reading together as a family, especially for those with very young

Parent and Child Poetry Challenge: Diamante Poems


Week two of the Poetry Challenge is exploring the diamante, a poetry form that was invented specifically for students!

The poem gets its name from its shape -- a diamond. This type of poem is a descriptive poem with seven lines, and they do not rhyme. There are some very specific rules to this form of poetry. The most common type of diamante is a synonym diamante. The first line introduces the subject, the next five lines describe the subject, and the last line is a synonym of the word in line one. Here are the basic diamante rules:

Line one is a noun.

Line two is two adjectives.

Line three is three verbs.

Line four is four nouns.

Line five is three verbs.

Line six is two adjectives.

Line seven is one noun (a synonym of the word used in line one). 

Here is an example of a diamante about a baby:


Cute, sweet

Sleeping, crying, drooling

Blanket, binkie, diaper, crib

Cooing, wiggling, eating

Fussy, chubby


Another form of diamante is an antonym diamante. In this type of poem, the first and last lines are opposites, or can be thought of as opposites. This form is a little trickier to write because it switches subjects half way through. Here is an example of an antonym diamante:


Wavy, cool

Swimming, diving, wading

Boat, ripples, shoreline, sand

Walking, digging, stomping

Solid, warm


Diamantes are a great form of poetry for kids to try because the process gets them thinking about parts of speech and challenges them to think creatively about their subjects. But they are low pressure because they are basically simple lists! They are also pretty cool visually once they're finished. I encourage you to have your kids write out their finished poems on colorful, diamond-shaped paper and place them somewhere prominent to show them off. 

I hope you and your kids write diamantes this week! If you do, please share them with us using the hashtag #RDDPoetryChallenge. You can also email them to readdiscussdo@gmail.com.

Happy writing!


Mindy Baker said…
Love this! Can’t wait to write some!
Rebecca Gomez said…
I look forward to seeing your diamantes, Mindy!