A cinquain is a poem consisting of 5 verses, which can be used for many different things in an EFL classroom. This is the pattern of the poem:
1. the first line is a noun describing the subject of the poem;
2. the second line consists of two adjectives describing the noun in the first line;
3. the third line contains three verbs (infinitive or gerund form) that give more information about the subject;
4. the fourth line is a four-word phrase describing feelings related to that subject;
5. the fifth line is a noun again, a synonym of the subject in the first line.
When doing literature, you can ask your students to write a cinquain about the story or about another poem. You can ask them to write a cinquain when introducing a new subject to see what their pre-knowledge is or use it as an introduction for a discussion in class. When there are some problems in the class you can also tell them to write a cinquain to express their feelings and you can always use this type of poem to introduce certain parts of speech, new vocabulary or practice their writing skills.
Have you ever used a cinquain in your classroom? How was it accepted?