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An old pond/A frog jumped in./The sound of water. 

- Basho






Introduce format of a haiku



Basho and the Fox” by Tim Myers, nonfiction books or magazines about seasons, animals, science, haiku worksheet, art materials such as colored pencils, art paper, stencils, etc.



Day 1.

Discuss poetry as a way to play with words, have fun, make surprising connections. Discuss haiku format. Syllable format of  lines 5, 7, 5 syllables in that order. Topics involve using both nature and senses. Can use haiku from “Basho and the Fox” or choose or make up another. Put haiku sample on board. Count out syllables by clapping. May need several examples.


Read “Basho and the Fox.” Explain Japanese elements or any confusing ideas as needed. Discuss each haiku. Do the first two fit the haiku pattern? (yes for topic, no for syllable count) Why did the fox like the last haiku?


Review format. Create class haiku. Post it. This can be done using a writing web with topic in the center and various ideas shooting off as in a sample below.  Then students create a first draft of their own following the haiku worksheet pattern which the teacher makes and distributes:  a piece of paper with three writing lines, the first with 5 dashes for syllables, the second with 7 and the last with 5. Students pick their topics. They can use magazines and books for ideas; they might share their ideas with their neighbor or in a small group.


Writing web. I’d like to show a drawing here: an oval with “summer” written inside and 4 or 5 lines shooting off from the rim, each line ends with a word such as “sun, swimming pool, picnic, peaches”.


Day 2.

confer with teacher to review format, refine work, eliminate dull words, write more drafts as needed.


Day 3.

Students illustrate work, read poems in class, post on bulletin boards or clothespin on line. Celebrate with a tea party.


Note: First grade teachers may find this easiest to do toward the end of the school year.
Also, many fine haiku are written that do NOT have the exact syllable count. The teacher can be as flexible as desired.



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