Monday, November 23, 2009

Teaching kids poetry: haikus

Maylin took a writing class where she wrote an ode to a bear. I thought she didn't have any interest in poetry, but after we brought her ode home, she wrote a few more! (I think she caught my enthusiasm because I actually wrote some odes first and then she followed suit.) That night, I made her a little booklet entitled, My Poetry Book, with a neon green cover. She woke up the next day to this on the kitchen table. Maylin was so excited to begin our first poetry lesson together. On the first page I had written the syllabic rule for the haiku, a three-line poem (5-7-5). I also included some of my own samples, including:

Cool rain hits my face
Mouth opening, I giggle
As joy showers me

The next page had a haiku brainstorm area with columns for nouns, adjectives, and verbs. She came up with about eight for each column, and proceeded to write three haikus in a row! After she had run out of words from her brainstorm, I suggested taking a break -- but no, she wanted to keep going, to my pleasant surprise! She had to brainstorm again for my words and then wrote two more haikus. Here are my favorites:

Windy, sandy beach
Sandcastles are fun to build
Swim and run with me

****

I want sweet candy
I don't want gross broccoli
Is it sweet or gross?

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