Monday, September 29, 2008


Haiku celebrates nature and is best written in the moment of observation, so why not take your students out for a GINKO, a Haiku Walk?

Before your walk, teach students the basics of haiku: The 5-7-5 pattern. Keen objective observations recorded in the present tense. Haiku's lack of title, rhyme, simile, metaphor, etc. Traditional haiku's subjects: the natural world, seasons, links to human nature. Haiku's need for concrete, juxtaposed images, and for a the reader to experience a bit of surprise.

Read them Japanese Masters: Issa, Basho, Buson, Shiki. Read them Modern Masters: Kristin O'Connell George, Jane Yolen, Alice Schertle, Janet Wong, and many others.

With pen and paper in hand, help your students notice the little things. Help them get their ideas on paper before attempting to bound them to form. Help them become Haiku Masters.


P.S. I am currently writing a picture book that will show children not only how to write, but why to love, Haiku.


  1. I love haiku and have been trying to learn more about writing them. That sounds like a fun exercise!

  2. My absolute favorite activity in my classroom was our snow walk. Once a year, in the coldest snow of Chicago winter, we'd bundle up and go outside and just sit and use our senses until we froze. Then we'd go inside for 20 minutes of silent writing. The poems were wonderful, but I never tried it with haiku. I love that idea.

  3. Fabulous idea, Jill! I am no longer a teacher, but would have LOVED this lesson. I will do this just for myself this week and create my own haikus. Thanks!

  4. a haiku book! my fifth grade teacher had us all write haikus and "publish" them in a little newsletter. i STILL remember mine!

    i see a rainbow
    why is it up in the sky?
    because it's pretty

  5. This would be fun to do as a writing exercise for children's book writers too.

    I love haiku - it's the only kind of poem I feel like I can actually write :0) But I also like reading them. There's something about the simplicity.


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