Welcome Parents

I built this site to provide recognition for the best work of my second and third grade students.

I introduce haiku when our phonics curriculum teaches about syllables.  Since haiku is used as a means to this end, we strictly adhere to the 5-7-5 structure.

Haiku writing is used to trigger higher-order thinking throughout the curriculum.   For example:  As each history story is finished, students meet in small groups to review the material and decide what moments, personalities, or places were important enough or interesting enough to deserve to be put into a haiku.

We do the same with other curriculum areas.  The contents of our Haiku Gallery are organized by school subject.

Initially, our students are satisfied just to achieve the right number of syllables.  As the year progresses, and they are exposed to numerous examples of classical haiku, their sensitivity to the potential of haiku is reflected in better work.

So stay tuned.  Visit us throughout the year, and watch us grow!

Welcome Teachers

If you are a teacher, we will give you an ID and password so you can add your students' work to The Haiku Gallery.  It's easy to do, and is an exciting motivator for many elementary school students, transforming their self-image into "internationally published authors".

In a private area of the website, you can also share your ideas for teaching haiku, for using a haiku unit to teach general writing principles, and for taking full advantage of the Gallery.  The brevity of haiku makes for efficient teaching of principles that apply to all forms of English communication. 

My own students are excited by the recognition from me when I select one of their poems for inclusion; and they are elated about calling far-away relatives to invite them to go online to see their recently published poems.

Register to be a member of the site.  Then send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request teacher privileges.  Indicate your school, the grade you teach, and the number of students. 

Welcome!

Information for Teachers

Welcome to the Haiku Gallery

A SHOWCASE FOR FINE WRITING BY YOUNG PEOPLE.   TEACHERS, CLICK HERE TO PUBLISH YOUR STUDENTS' WORK.
Sunday December 11, 2016
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diving and treadingsunshine and trees
giraffes munching and drinking,
people pushing

happy shouts, spicy lasagnahappy shouts
playing football with relatives
spicy lasagna

OhioWilbur and Orville
Edison, Annie Oakely
great hall of famers

morning in bedmorning in bed
cold worried breathing
— red dots all over

Summer construction
big noisy digging machines,
busy men at work

Along the Silk Road
gunpowder and persian rugs
jade coal and spices

garden sparrow's twiggy nestsummer morning
garden sparrow's twiggy nest
green egg turning brown

fun recess tickets
orange yellow and blue scraps,
purple are the best.

dusty brown infield

benched helmets and trophy,Winning the Little League Championship

happy cheering

This Month's Newest Haiku

Giraffes Munching

diving and treadingsunshine and trees
giraffes munching and drinking,
people pushing

Recess Trouble

Recess Troublekicking the ball hard
balls go over the fences
I get in trouble

Playing With Numbers

schooldivide multiply
add subtract estimate
--- playing with numbers

17 Syllables

A haiku is a kind of poem, originally developed in Japan and now popular all over the world.  Today, you can find haiku adapted for any language.

An English haiku typically has three lines; the first has two accents in five syllables, the second has three accents in seven syllables, and the last has two accents in five syllables.

On this still hot day,
 only the sound of soft grass
  in the beaks of ducks.

(Claire Pratt)

the flick of high beams ---
 out of the dark roadside ditch
  leaps a tall grass clump

(Paul O. Williams)

7 Beats

Using all seventeen syllables yields graceful English, but the full English haiku form is then longer than the original Japanese haiku form. 

(Japanese does not have long syllables, like 'twelfth' and 'drifts' and 'smelled'.)

So in English haiku, there can be fewer syllables as long as the accents are there.

 The white spider
  whiter still
   in the lightning's flash

(Geraldine C. Little)

Jeep tracks
 over deer tracks
  in new snow

(William R. Mosolino)

1 Cut

A 'kireji' (cutting pause) usually divides the haiku into two distinct rhythmic units; either five beats followed by three (when the kireji isolates the last line, as in the previous example), or three beats followed by five (when it isolates the first line, as in the next example).

the aster blossoms.
 the glittering of dew drops
  'til after noontime.

(Karel Hellemans)

where peonies bloom
the tomcat lurks and watches
    falls asleep.

(Beverly White)

In haiku, grammar is pared down. Incomplete sentences abound. Use of articles and prepositions is minimal.

3 Lines

What can you say in just three lines?

Traditionally, a haiku recreates a contemplative natural experience.

Although short, a fine haiku causes the reader to experience its subject at length.

The resulting sensations are the whole point of the haiku.

The rhythmic structure of a haiku yields a sense of incompleteness, inviting the reader to wait with it.

Just enough of rain
To bring the smell of silk
From umbrellas

(Richard Wright)

1 Season

Are there any other 'rules' for writing haiku?

Traditionally, the experience explored in the haiku must take place in a defined season --- spring, summer, fall, or winter.  The season is revealed, often quite subtly, by a 'kigo' (season word) in the text.  The sensations induced by the haiku are triggered by the seasonal cue as well by the particular subject matter.

The season word is also an allusion to other poems having the same season word, making each poem part of a rich historical tapestry.

Only scattered stars,
  till the moon wakens clusters
  of saguaro flowers.

(Foster Jewell)

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