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National Poetry Month-Can You Haiku? I Can

Imagine my surprise when I found out April is designated National Poetry Month. I was surprised because I had already planned to blog about writing haiku with your children and Haiku is poetry.

So I will go ahead with my plan and start with the writing of haiku and then in my next blog, I will write about the reading and enjoying all types of Poetry.

Haiku originated in Japan and was mainly written about nature or the seasons. It has become acceptable to write Haiku about all kinds of subjects and themes. This is especially important to know when you are working with children because the themes and topics need to be interesting to them. This is a poetry form that you can have a lot of fun writing and changing and writing again.

I did a search on the internet, for DESCRIPTIVE WORDS and then clicked on IMAGES FOR

DESCRIPTIVE WORDS. There are all types of printable charts for your children to use to enhance their writing. These charts should only be used as a tool to help them find more impactful words.

Now brainstorm possible topics for the poems. I call this Oiling Their Minds.

  • Let their imaginations run.

  • One topic will help them think of another and another.

  • Write every topic down for all to see.

  • Let them choose the topics they want to start writing about.

  • Keep the other topics for future writing.

Start out by writing a family Haiku. You should be the writer, modeling the form and the writing. For example, we have a family dog named Molly so I will use her. I might have one of my grandchildren give a sentence about Molly For Example “Molly is our family dog.” I would write it on a chalkboard or paper for all to see.

The children count out the number of syllables in the sentence by using one hand as a

hammer, hitting the palm of their opposite hand each time they hear a syllable. This helps them internalize the hearing of the syllables.

In our sentence above: “Molly is our family dog.” There are 8 syllables in that first line. We can only have five. I would ask them “How can we change this to fit the formate of the Haiku?”

I would have my grandchildren call out some other words or phrases that describes Molly; large, white, has curly hair, likes to fetch a ball that you throw, likes to wrestle, is sweet-tempered, likes to jump in the pond.

Now they can rearrange the sentence to have five syllables. “Molly is our dog.” That works, five syllables. The next sentence could be “sometimes she is very sad”. With the last line being “then she turns happy”

Below are two samples.

Remember Haiku traditionally was written about nature or the seasons. You can try writing Haiku about nature. Go on a walk with your children. Have them take a notebook to write down what they see, hear or the impressions they have. Point out what you are seeing and feeling, encourage them to do the same. What do the trees look like? Is there a breeze in the air and how does it feel on your face? Is the sky full of clouds and are they fluffy, white or dark? Is there an insect on the sidewalk or a hawk gliding in the air? It is endless what you can jot down and then turn into a Haiku.

Notes about me:

Jylene Morgan is a retired educator. She is passionate about the importance of reading aloud to children from top quality children’s books. Writing about her life experiences she captivates her audience by telling the tales of her family’s adventures. The first several books are written about funny exchanges that occur when human and wild animal’s lives come together.

To read more about me, my passion for reading aloud to children and my books go to


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