As my short-lived career as an ESL teacher meanders to a close, I taught a hilarious class today where we made diamante poems about cause and effect. You take a simple cause and effect sentence, like this one I found online: I studied hard for my spelling test and got 100! and you transform this into a poem that looks like:


Challenge, Dedication

Repeating, Memorizing, Writing

Practice, Analysis, Success, Victory

Cheering, Smiling, Celebrating

Excellent, Masterful


It looks like a diamond! How cute. But I’m not big on sappy spelling test B/S. So the next sample I showed my class, I wrote. My sentence? Zombies took over the city and everyone died.


Dead, Brainless

Shambling, Moaning, Eating

They overtake us all

Killing, Biting, Changing

Quiet, Dead


            And now, a couple diamante poems written by Korean high school lads. They were really pretty brilliant.


The reason for his madness is so much laughing.


Happy, Fun

Laughing, Loudening, Stamping

He laugh so much

Teasing, Doing, Exhausting

Painful, Crazy



The destroy revealed because education (I don’t know what this means, but damn is it profound!)


Knowledge, Development

Studying, Learning, Sitting

People have to study hard so they become upset

Rebelling, Restricting, Objecting

War, Doomed


I stayed up late at night yesterday, so I am really tired now. (This pretty much could have been my poem.)


Late, Annoyed

Rolling, Standing, Talking

I could not sleep

Sleeping, Trying, Sleeping

Sleepy, Tired



This one was unsettling in its conformist nature: A boy studied hard, and he entered a good university,


Hard-Working, Gradual

Memorizing, Solving, Thinking

He studied very hard

Enduring, Desiring, Wishing

Patient, Good



This one didn’t have a cause and effect sentence, but it sums up my entire high school experience where a certain subject is concerned. (He waffled on the format, sure, but the theme is so dear to my heart…)


Difficult, Confusing

Getting more difficult, Frustrating, Devastating

He doesn’t study math

Scolding, Getting bad grade, Sighing

Sad, Disappointed

Give up


And now my two favorites, from the best English speaker in the class, and also the most whiney.  The first one, as he read it, he told us he wanted the cause and effect sentence to come AFTER he read the poem.


Scornful, Ridicule

Laughing, Mocking, Annoying

He buried the boy

Panicking, Horrifying, Frightening

Irresistible, Dead


A boy teased a boy and he buried the boy.


And my favorite, from the same chap: Too much English made the boy crazy and he became happy.


Too much, Stressed

Over-whelming, Over shooting, Inferior

English made him crazy

Laughing, Dripping, Running

Mad, Uncontrolled



Gosh, I don’t know why these were all so morbid…I’ll leave you with the poem I did in class (everyone had to write two and share one)


Aliens coming to Earth to enslave us will make the human race go extinct.


Green, Different

Descending, Meeting, Talking

Oh no they’re evil!

Maiming, Killing, Enslaving

Cruel, Violent