Power of naming: a nonet writing prompt

Sequence of activities:

Introduction (2 minutes)

Discussion about the importance of a name

  • How does it feel when you tell someone your name and they always remember it correctly?
  • Has anyone ever mispronounced your name?
  • How does it feel when you tell someone your name and they call you a name that sounds nothing like yours?
  • Use the worksheet to write down thoughts form discussion

Overview of the Nonet Form (2 minutes)

Keeping in mind the conversation, we will be writing a name poem using the nonet  writing style. A nonet is a nine-line poem. In the nonet form, each line contains specific, descending syllable counts. The first line contains nine syllables, the second line contains eight, and the third line contains seven, and so on. The last line of nonet poetry contains one syllable.

The structure for nonet poetry form is as follows:

First line: 9 syllables
Second line: 8 syllables
Third line: 7 syllables
Fourth line: 6 syllables
Fifth line: 5 syllables
Sixth line: 4 syllables
Seventh line: 3 syllables
Eighth line: 2 syllables
Ninth line: 1 syllable

Let’s get creative and add a personal touch to this structure to tap into the naming Nonet! (see PDF at the bottom of the page) (5 minutes)

Our nonet poems will be written as follows:

First line: 9 syllables about the meaning of your name
Second line: 8 syllables about what you want people to feel when they hear your name
Third line: 7 syllables about how it would be if your name is always forgotten
Fourth line: 6 syllables of your choice
Fifth line: 5 syllables of your choice
Sixth line: 4 syllables of your choice
Seventh line: 3 syllables of your choice
Eighth line: 2 syllables of your choice
Ninth line: 1 syllable of your choice

Let’s write! (50 minutes)

Take 30 minutes to allow students to write. Take the remainder time to share and bounce ideas around, and edit the poem!



Education Level: 





Writing Prompt

Time Frame: 

1 hour

Prior Knowledge/Skills: 

knowledge of how syllables work

Required Materials: 

paper, pen/pencil, printer for PDF (if you would like to use the worksheet)

Additional Materials: