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Haiku

Contributed by Leanne Guenther

[Introduction]    [What am I? Haikus]    [Printable Worksheets]

Introduction:

A syllable is a part of a word pronounced as a unit.  It is usually made up of a vowel alone or a vowel with one or more consonants.  The word "Haiku" has two syllables:  Hai-ku; the word "introduction" has four syllables:  in-tro-duc-tion.

"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.
 

What am I? Haikus:

The most popular Haiku exercise I have found for children is a "What am I?" Haiku.  These act like a riddle.  The writer uses the Haiku to describe something.  The other children in the class can then attempt to guess what the poet was describing after listening to or reading the Haiku.

The poem can be read aloud by the poet with their classmates guessing the answer after it is read or all the Haikus can be hung on the bulletin board giving everyone the chance to read and guess.

Here are two examples of "What am I?" Haikus:

Green and speckled legs,
Hop on logs and lily pads
Splash in cool water.

In a pouch I grow,
On a southern continent --
Strange creatures I know.

 

Printable Worksheets:

Worksheet 1:  Information about syllables and Haiku.  Example poem to analyze.

Worksheet 2:  Information about syllables and Haiku.  Write your own Haiku.

Worksheet 3:  Information about syllables and Haiku.  Write your own "What am I?" Haiku.
 

Examples:

 


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