How to Write Haiku Poetry

The haiku is a Japanese verse in three lines.  Line one has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables.

Haiku is a mood poem and it doesn't use any metaphors or similes.



How to Teach Haiku Poetry


Usually when Haiku is taught the students are only given the restriction of the number of lines and syllables. However, for good Haiku poetry, more explanation needs to be given. This site is for teachers and students so that they can learn how to create their own Haiku poetry:  George Marsh's new Haiku learning site.


Bruce Lansky has a different method for writing Haiku. It can be found at Giggle Poetry's Haiku Page. Here is an excerpt from his lesson:

I think the best stimuli for writing haiku are nature hikes, nature photography, or art. Try
this: Write down what you see when you go outside for recess or when you go for a walk in
the woods over the weekend. Write down your observations on paper (or better yet, record
them with a camera). Depending on the season, you might get observations of nature like
the following: 

leaves blowing in the wind
snow piling up on unused doors
ducks swimming in a pond during a rainstorm
the first buds on tree branches in your backyard
the first daffodil poking it's head through the dirt
hungry bees buzzing around a flower garden 

Next, try to find two images that create a striking impression when connected and write
them down. You might get something like this: 

After it started to rain, fishermen steered their boats toward the shore. Then, I saw a family
of ducks waddle over to the lake and swim across. 

OK, now you have to pare the sentence down so it still describes the scene while inviting
the reader to marvel at nature. How's this? 

Sudden spring storm-
a family of ducks paddles
around the deserted lake. 

(Copyright 1999 by Bruce Lansky, reprinted with his permission) 

Here are a few examples of Haiku poetry written by children from around the world. 

In early morning
My Dad goes out for seafood
From the ocean rocks 

Agnes Thomas / Age 13 / Canada 

In the evening twilight
Only the mushrooms 
Are illuminated 

Keji Baba / Age 12 / Japan 

The JAL web site has more great examples of Haikus written by children and an explanation to go with them.

 The Poetry Zone also has a good description of Haiku and Tanka poetry.

The Garden Digest web site gives a list of Haiku poetry that is related to flowers and other things found in the garden.


Back to Grade 6 home page