Haiku Society of America Educational Resources - Primary Students

Haiku Society of America Educational Resources

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Educational Resources for Primary Students

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Haiku Unit Plan

Learning How to Write Haiku (pdf)
by Katherine Raine

This guide to writing haiku has been prepared with primary, intermediate and high school teachers in mind. Our aim is to support teachers by presenting information on how to compose haiku as it is currently written worldwide, so in turn they can skilfully support their students to discover the enjoyment of haiku. This document may also be useful for independent students of any age.

Poetry writing is an under-appreciated pursuit which can be a deeply pleasurable way of considering life — sharing poignant moments through haiku is rewarding for both writer and reader. We present here some ways of creating a “poetry culture” in the classroom to encourage this kind of communication. If using this guide results in more young people delighting in composing haiku, wonderful! If more of them are confident to submit and share their work, even better!

Katherine Raine
New Zealand Poetry Society February 2016


British Haiku Society Teaching Kit

British Haiku Society Teaching Kit (link to pdfs)

The British Haiku Society is active in promoting the teaching of haiku in schools and colleges, and able to provide readers/course and workshop leaders/speakers for poetry groups, etc. They have created a haiku teaching/learning kit for schools which could be found in the Teaching Haiku section of the website. This includes 8 PDF downloads of materials for teachers. These materials are for children ages 5-7 and 7-11.

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Workshops & Lessons

Elementary School Workshop (pdf)
by Randy Brooks

My Preferred Approach to Haiku Workshops in Schools

Over the years, it has been a pleasure to share the fun of haiku with students at all levels. When I provide haiku workshops in the elementary or secondary schools, I usually like to visit classes at least twice with a week or two between each visit. With multiple visits, the students can get a better sense of reading, writing, editing, publishing and sharing haiku. During the first visit, I emphasize the art of reading haiku by simply sharing excellent haiku with the students and asking them to imagine what they see, feel, or remember based on the haiku read. Then we talk about writing haiku with some introductory discussion of how haiku is a literary art emphasizing images—words or phrases that evoke sensory perception and related memories . . .


Haiku and Haiga Elementary Workshops (web site)
by Randy Brooks & Jennifer Griebel

We completed 10 workshops on reading, writing and painting haiku at the Harristown Elementary School, over a period of three weeks in October, 2003. The workshops for grades 1-2 were one hour, and the workshops for grades 3-5 were about one hour and fifteen minutes each. The primary purpose of these workshops was to introduce students to a visual thinking approach to writing, based on images and associations from their own memories.

Millikin honors student, Jennifer Griebel, shared her haiku painting "River Fog"with the students. She discussed the goals and techniques of Japanese sumi-e paintings. Like haiku, sumi-e paintings only provide a minimal number of images leaving things deliberately incomplete so the viewer completes the scene in their own mind. She showed the students how Japanese kanji are ideogrammatic, suggesting images of things in words. She showed them the derivation of mountain and river and gate in Japanese kanji, then she encouraged the students to try a painting using only black paint


Gifted Children Writing & Editing Workshop (web site)
by Randy Brooks

Welcome to the Prairieland Advocates for Gifted Children haiku writing and editing workshop web anthology. Eight students (fourth grade throught sixth grade) from Decatur area schools participated in this haiku writing and editing workshop on March 27, 1999. The primary purpose of this workshop was to introduce students to a visual thinking approach to writing, based on images and associations from their own memories. The workshop begins with students closing their eyes and imagining the moment and feelings of various haiku by famous American haiku writers . . .

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JAL Foundation Project
World's Children Haiku

JAL World's Children Haiku (web site)

In 1964, while the Tokyo Olympics were being held, Japan Airlines organized a Haiku contest on a U.S. radio station, which sparked the popularity of this art form overseas. Forty-one thousand (41,000) haiku were submitted for this first contest. There have been 16 additional contests since that first contest in 1964. There is a PDF on "How to Make Haiku" available in several languages including English. Publications of winning haiku from previous years are available for sale. See the most recent guidelines for 2020 and the award winning haiku for 2020.

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Recommended Articles & Online Resources

Alston, Linda. “Teaching Haiku to Young Children.” NAMTA Journal (North American Montessori Teachers' Association) 18.2 (1993): 43-50.

Anonymous. “Haiku: Lesson Plans for Teachers, Grades 1-5.” Haiku Society of America, (2012): n. pag. Web. 2 April 2016.

Bennett, Brad. “Lesson Plan for Grades 3-4.” Winchester, VA: The Haiku Foundation, (no date). Web. 26 April 2016.

British Haiku Society. Haiku Kit: A Teaching Pack, Second Edition. British Haiku Society, (no date): n. pag. Web. 8 August 2021.

Brooks, Randy and Jennifer Griebel, Editors. Harristown Haiku Anthology: Haiku and Haiga by Harristown Elementary School Students. Global Haiku Traditions, Millikin University, (2003). Web. 8 August 2021.

Brooks, Randy. “Language Arts Books on Teaching Haiku.” Haiku Review ’87 (1987): 48-57.

Brooks, Randy. “Prairieland Advocates for Gifted Children: Haiku Writing & Editing Workshop.” Global Haiku Traditions, Millikin University, (1999). Web. 8 August 2021.

Brooks, Randy, Editor. Warrensburg-Latham Middle School Haiku Anthology. Decatur, IL: Brooks Books, (1998). Web. 8 August 2021.

Cherner, Anne. “Haiku—the Discipline of Language.” Teachers and Writers Magazine 12.2 (1981): 14-16.

Gaire, Denise B. “How a Haiku Project Stimulated Poetry Reading among Elementary Students.” Library Media Connection 22.4 (2004): 41-42.

Greenway, William and Betty Greenway. “Meeting the Muse: Teaching Contemporary Poetry by Teaching Poetry Writing.” Children's Literature Association Quarterly 15.3 (1990): 138-142.

Higginson, William J. “Guidelines for Writing Haiku.” Winchester, VA: The Haiku Foundation, (2003). Web. 8 August 2021.

Higginson, William J. “Japanese Poems for American School Kids? Or Why and How to Not Teach Haiku.” The Whole Word Catalogue 2. 46-53. New York: McGraw Hill, 1977.

Hudson, Zach. "Haiku in The Classroom: More Than Counting Syllables." English Journal 102.6 (2013): 54-57.

Kenny, Adele. “The Haiku Connection.” Teachers and Writers Magazine 12.2 (1981): 12-13.

McDonald, Nan L., & Douglas Fisher. “Haiku: Active Learning with and through the Arts.” Teaching Literacy through the Arts. Guilford Publications, 2006.

Nakajima, K. “Research on the haiku poems creation method of instruction according to development process.” Bulletin of Hokuriku Gakuin Junior College 40 (2008): 33-42. National Endowment for the Humanities. The world of haiku, 2000. Education Resources Information Center.

Parks, Mary. “Integrate Art! Match Poetry to Painting.” Instructor 104.4 (1994): 30.
Rielly, Edward J. "Reading and Writing Haiku in The Classroom." Children's Literature Association Quarterly 13.3 (1988): 111-114.

Standford University Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education. The Haiku Moment: Seeing the World in a Grain of Sand. A Curriculum Unit for Elementary Levels. Revised. Stanford University, CA: 1995. [25 pages]

Vakar, Anna. “Some Thoughts on Teaching Haiku in the Schools.” Frogpond 2.3/4 (1979): 11-14.

Whittingham, Jeff L. “Haiku: Teaching the Art of Brevity in Writing.” Childhood Education 80.1 (2003): 25-28.

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Recommended Books

Carter, Terry Ann, Editor. Lighting the Global Lantern: A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Haiku and Related Literary Forms. Township of South Frontenac, Ontario, Canada: Wintergreen Studios Press, 2011.

Cobb, David, Editor. Tadpoles: Haiku by British School Children. British Haiku Society, (1999). Available The Haiku Foundation Digital Library. Web. 8 August 2021.

Deodhar, Angelee, Editor. Children’s Haiku from Around the World: A Haiku Primer. Chandigarh, India: Azad Hind Stores, Ltd., 2007. [Hindi & English.]

Donegan, Patricia. Haiku: Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 2003.

Harter, Penny. Shadow Play: Night Haiku. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Higginson, William J. The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku. New York: Kodansha International, 1985.

Japan Air Lines Foundation. Haiku by the Children ‘90. Japan: JAL Foundation, 1991. [Anthology of best selections from the 1990 Japan Air Lines World Children’s Haiku Contest ‘90.]

Japan Air Lines Foundation. Haiku by the Children. Japan: JAL Foundation, 1995. [Anthology of best selections from the 1994 Japan Air Lines World Children’s Haiku contest.]

Japan Project. The Haiku Moment: Seeing the World in a Grain of Sand. A curriculum unit for elementary levels developed by The Japan Project, Stanford Program on International and Cross-cultural Education (SPICE). Originally developed by Kay Sandberg Abe and revised in 1995 by Jocelyn Young. Standford, CA: Stanford University, 1995. Includes cassette audio tape and slide show.

Latham, Jessica Malone, Editor. Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 Days of Haiku for Children Young and Old. Taylorville, IL: Brooks Books, 2019.

Mason, Scott, Editor. The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and the See the World with New Eyes. Chappaqua, NY: Girasole Press, 2017.

Van Kirk, Geoffrey, Kazuo Tsuda, and Mami Masuya Fleming, Editors. 2014 Student Haiku Contest: A Poetic Competition for Students and Their Teachers in Elementary, Middle and High School writing in English or Japanese. New York: The United Nationas International School, 2014.

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The Haiku Society of America is pleased to provide resources to those teaching and learning the literary art of haiku. Many of these resources are assessible to a wide range of learners including children. Others have been developed for engagement by specific age groups. Note that the Haiku Sociey of America mentorship program also has several PDF guides to online resources.

Please know that the following web pages provide resources for a specific audience but should NOT exclude anyone from considering resources from any category!


For Haiku Writers

Introductory Workshops
Specific Tecnhiques
Scott Mason - Haiku Course
How-To Haiku Books
Recommended Books to Read


For College Students

Teaching Haiku in Higher Educaiton
Art of Reading & Writing Haiku
Millikin Haiku Anthology
Articles & Online Resources
Recommended Books


For Secondary Students

Workshops & Lessons
Student Haiku Award Collection
Haiku Unit Plan
Haiku Cut Competition
Articles & Online Resources
Recommended Books


For Primary Students

Haiku Unit Plan
Workshops & Lessons
Articles & Online Resources
Recommended Books


Education Resources Web Sites

Haiku Organizaitons & Societies
Haiku Leaders & Teachers
Haiku Podcasts
Haiku Archives & Directories


For Scholars & Literary Criticism

HSA Definitions
Scholar’s Library of Haiku
Frogpond Essays
Frogpond Book Reviews

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