Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

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!