Encourages students to learn about ancient Japanese Samurai through reading, repsonding to, and writing haiku.
- Employ relevant pre-writing strategies and organizational techniques
- Identify literary elements, such as mood and dominant impression
- Apply knowledge to create haiku poetry
- Create appropriate visual presentations
- Haiku Organizer printable
- Whiteboard or chart paper with markers, or a computer and projector for demonstrations
- Haiku examples (the Haiku Book List features traditional Japanese haiku, as well as modern examples of the form)
- Writing paper
- 11" x 17" sheets of paper to make presentation folders, two sheets per student
- Glue or staplers
- Colored pencils or markers
- Optional: Magazines and scrap paper for decorating folders
- Make a class set of the Haiku Organizer printable.
- Prepare an original haiku to model.
- Prepare a presentation folder to model. Staple or glue two pieces of 11" x 17" paper together on three sides, creating a pocket for writing paper. The folder can be decorated with Japanese symbols, drawings, magazine clippings, haiku and haiku themes, clip art, etc.
Step 1: Review information learned from the previous lessons.
Step 2: Distribute copies of the Haiku Organizer printable.
Step 3: Explain to the class that they are to work through the steps on the organizer to determine the mood, dominant impression, and seasonal word to write eight haiku poems about a theme of their choosing.
Step 4: Brainstorm possible themes. Students may need help choosing a theme, so ask for ideas and compile a list on the board. Students can chose one of the suggested themes, or come up with their own idea. Some suggested themes: sports, animals, school, family, friendship, war, nature, technology, loneliness, and food.
Step 5: Model the step-by-step writing of a haiku using the Haiku Organizer printable. It might be helpful to read more examples. As you read the poetry, have students count the syllables, and discuss the mood, impression and seasonal word. Model the teacher-created haiku on the board or projector. Show how you chose the elements for your haiku by working through the organizer. Demonstrate that it might be necessary to reword lines to fit the syllable pattern. For example: “Mosquitoes at twilight” can become “Mosquitoes at dusk” to fit a 5-syllable line.
Step 6: Have students write independently for the remainder of the class period.
Step 1: Have students continue to write their haiku poems using the Haiku Organizer printable. When the poems are finished, students should write final drafts neatly on the writing paper. Each student should complete eight poems in all.
Step 2: Present a model of the Presentation Folder to the class. This should include completed haiku poems and the Haiku Organizer printable.
Step 3: Have students create presentation folders for their work. They should decorate the outside of the folder with drawings or photos that represent the theme of their writing or anything pertaining to Haiku and Samurai.
Optional: Students may present their work to the class on a special Japanese culture day. Ideas for this are endless, some that work well are:
- Food: Something simple like rice with chopsticks is great, or go all out with a cultural buffet.
- Music: Set the mood with Japanese soundtracks.
- Decorations and clothing: Set a festive mood or choose a theme from Japanese history.
- Leave your shoes at the door and sit on the floor!
Supporting All Learners
Struggling writers can be given a shorter assignment with writing prompts on the graphic organizer. ESL students can write poems in their first language, and tell the class what it means in English.
When students have mastered Haiku, have them try Senryū.
Display students' work for a parent night and send the folder home as a keepsake.
- Use the Haiku Organizer printable to develop a theme and write eight haiku poems.
- Prepare a folder to present the completed poems and organizer.
- What can I add overall to the haiku lesson to improve meaning to my class?
- What classroom management problems occurred during the lessons, and how can these be solved?
- Was the method of assessment valid and fair to all students?
- How should I modify the lesson to meet the needs of all my students?
Assessment of the assignment is based on completion of the writing activity by following the directions, completion of the presentation folder, and use of the Haiku Organizer printable. For this assignment, it may be more productive to grade based on participation rather than the quality of poetry.