Haiku Poetry, For Kids
What is a Haiku?
I loved writing poetry when I was growing up. Learning all the different types of poems and coming up with different ways to write. Plus, I loved adding art to the poems I created to make them complete. April is poetry month! And did you know they actually have an International Day of Haiku for those that love Haiku Poetry!? That’s right, a whole day dedicated to Haiku Poetry. That day falls on April 17th. I know the day has past, however, since all of April is Poetry Month, I figured, why not do a mini lesson with my older son on Haiku. I even created a FREE printable for those interested in teaching their kids how to write haiku’s!
A haiku is a Japanese form of poetry. A Haiku poem has only 3 lines, uses a 5-7-5 pattern of syllables, does not usually rhyme, and it is usually about nature. Although these are very generic ideas of what a haiku should be, these are not set in stone. This is just usually what is taught in school to make it simple. However, Haiku does NOT need to follow these rules. However some things to keep in mind when writing a Haiku include:
- Keeping it to 3 lines (you can make longer poems by connecting different 3 line haiku’s to make 1 long poem)
- 2 parts – 1 phrase that is 2 lines and 1 phrase that is 1 line to make the 3 lines
- At least 10 syllables, no more than 17
- Try to use 10 or fewer words (but again, this is not mandatory)
- Traditionally about nature or seasons (but when working with kids, let them choose topics they enjoy)
- Verses should express thought, feeling or mood
- The last line is usually an observation
- There are no titles or rhyming (however, when working with kids, this is okay)
Be sure to check out some of these websites for more information and knowledge. Information Gathered From: The Haiku Foundation , Grace Guts Home, With Words , and Poetry 4 Kids
Why Teach Kids Haiku?
First of all, teaching poetry is overall just an amazing way to further writing skills. Sometimes there is a lot of technical skills that come into play when writing. And a lot of writing can be super long. Poetry is a nice break from that. Poetry can be quick. It can be expressive. And it can be done at an early age. When teaching about haiku poetry, kids are learning a lot of different skills from just one type of poetry. Those skills include:
- Learning about syllables
- Practicing vocabulary
- Practicing their 5 senses
- Learning and applying adjectives & verbs
- They exercise their imagination
- Practice their guessing skills
- Share their knowledge of nature
I am sure there are tons of other skills learned through haiku poetry, however, those are some of my favorites. Once you child has the main concepts of a haiku poem, I am sure they will enjoy coming up with their own all by themselves. So keep it simple to start, and depending on your child’s age and developmental range, include further instruction as they begin to grasp at least these 3 concepts.
- 5-7-5 syllables
- 3 lines
- Choose a topic they enjoy
How To Teach Haiku?
Depending on how your child learns and what they know already, be sure they understand certain concepts that are needed for their haiku poems.
Does your child know what a syllable is? If not, this is something that needs to be taught. Start off with simple words with 1 syllable and move up to at least 3-4 syllable words. Use your fingers and/or break up each word with your child. They need to be able to hear the separation between each syllable in words. You could even clap them out or jump them out if this helps your child to remember.
Adjectives and Verbs
If your child has not learned about adjectives or verbs yet, do a simple lesson on them. They will be using lots of adjectives and verbs to write each haiku, so knowing these basics, will help them to succeed. You can even go over nouns, just to refresh if needed.
Most kids know these early on, but doing a quick review is always helpful. Make sure they know them and can list some words for you for each sense. This is probably more of a review for most kids.
Practice, Practice, Practice
From there, all you can really do is practice, practice, practice. Read different haiku poems together. Make lists of ideas for topics to write about. Point out different parts of each of the poem. If the poem is not super clear, try to guess what the writer is talking about. And then just start writing. Practice poems and help your child make sure they have at least the 3 main concepts; 1. 3 Lines, 2. 5-7-5 syllables, and 3. a topic of their choice.
Are you ready to get in some haiku poetry with your kid? Or do you just want to give it a shot yourself!? I have a FREE printable for you if you want access to my VIP Printable section of the blog! That is right. I have a VIP section, that only my subscribers can access. The VIP section is growing as I create more and more. If you would like access to my Haiku Poetry Printable, be sure to subscribe below!
Be sure to comment below with your favorite thing about poetry or favorite type of poetry!