Having fun with Haiku Poetry in the Classroom – #readilearn

Next Saturday 17 April is Haiku Poetry Day. Why not prepare for the day, by reading and writing haiku during the week leading up to it, or for those of us in Australia still on school holidays, celebrate the week after. Of course, any time is good for reading and writing haiku — no excuse is needed.

What is Haiku?

Haiku is a short poem of only three lines with a very structured form. There only 17 syllables in the entire poem:

five on the first line 

seven syllables come next

and five on the third 

The purpose of the haiku is to capture a brief moment in time. Traditionally, it is written about the seasons but can be used to write poems on any topic. Haiku poetry often concludes with a feeling or observation. Sometimes the feeling is not explicit but is left for the reader to interpret.

What is a syllable?

Before you begin to teach your children to write haiku, they need to know what a syllable is. Whether you are teaching or revising syllables, readilearn has some resources to support you, including:

Continue reading: Having fun with Haiku Poetry in the Classroom – readilearn

26 thoughts on “Having fun with Haiku Poetry in the Classroom – #readilearn

  1. Jules

    I too was taught the American English version of the Japanese style haiku. What amazes me is how persnickity haiku societies can get and how often they change the rules. Now the more common rule is that the tree lines are as short as a breath, whatever that means. And of course you are expected to use a Kigo. Which I don’t always do. But then I am a rebel anyway 🙂

    Other short forms that I think you could also teach are these to American Lune forms:
    ‘From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Lune is a fixed-form variant haiku created for the English language, and consists of two versions:
    The Robert Kelly lune
    Robert Kelly, a Professor of Literature at Bard College, invented a new form of English-language haiku using the form 5/3/5 syllables, with the intention of making the form closer to the Japanese haiku than English-language haiku written in a 5/7/5 syllable format.[1][2]
    The Jack Collom lune
    It is measured in words rather than syllables, making it easier for children to learn and compose. The form is 3/5/3 words. Jack Collom created this new form of haiku by chance, when he misremembered the original creation of Kelly’s as this form, thereby creating a new one.[1][2]
    Both versions are free from all constraints associated with haiku, thus need contain no kigo (season-word), kire (cut), may rhyme and may use all other poetic devices.[1]’

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Norah Post author

      It’s nice to be a bit flexible about things like this. I like to encourage self-expression and not worry too much about the rules. Sometimes a structure provides a bit of guidance and support though, which can be helpful.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mabel Kwong

    I really enjoyed reading about haikus and how to write haikus, Norah. I think you explained haikus and approaches to penning them more clearly than my tutors at university did. I like how you focused on the basics and learning to write haikus progressively as you get more familiar with its form. That suggestion of clapping along to each syllable is creative – and such a fun way to learn too. The suggestion of sitting outside to write a haiku is also create. If it was raining or miserable weather outside, I think I’d prefer sitting indoors beside the window trying to get some inspiration 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Jennie. Haiku is a beautiful poetic form. Images in words. They often provide us with a different way of thinking about things, which is great for young children and us older children too.

      Liked by 2 people


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