Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Haiku How-To

Haiku. You see that word around a lot. It's a poem...a specific kind of poem that has a specific construction.

This school year, it was my goal to introduce and read some poetry to the children. I have not achieved this goal...yet. There is still a semester of school left. I have, however, introduced them to the wonderful world of haiku poems. We wrote our own a couple of months ago, and plan to write some more. Here is a brief description of a haiku poem if you are not familiar.


"Haiku" is a traditional form of Japanese poetry.  Haiku poems consist of 3 lines.  The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables.  The lines rarely rhyme.

Here's a Haiku to help you remember:

I am first with five
Then seven in the middle --
Five again to end.

Because Haikus are such short poems, they are usually written about things that are recognizable to the reader.  Animals and seasons are examples of recognizable topics children might enjoy exploring.
 (information from )

 Seasons, favorite foods, pets, colors, people....the possibilities of haiku topics are endless!
We decided to write our haiku about a flower. The children chose a golden poppy, since it is the state flower of California. Here is our little poem:

Bright poppy dancing
Happy girl wants to pick it
Bee busy working

 We brainstormed different things about flowers and poppies, what flowers look like in the wind, what you feel like doing when you see flowers, what is something useful about flowers. I wrote out sentences on the board, then we changed and switched things around until we achieved sentences of 5-7-5 syllables. It was something Emma really enjoyed. Sophia and Elijah enjoyed the brainstorming process, but haven't really grasped the concept of syllables yet. When our poem was finished, Emma copied it out onto a piece of pretty yellow paper and Sophia drew some purple poppies. :)

Haiku poems are a lot of fun! It gets kids to look at the details of a certain thing or idea. One website I went to said to look at a lovely painting and try to describe some aspect of it in a haiku. We are going to do that exercise the next time we write one.

Seize this bless-ed day
Let your cup overflow love
Grateful for this time

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