Learn how to easily create a lovely fall display and teach students how to write a haiku!
Once the clock strikes midnight on August 31st, all things fall begin. For some, that means racing to Starbucks the second PSL is offered. For others, it can mean procuring an obscene amount of fall-scented anything! Pumpkin-scented candles, apple-scented hand wash….yes, please! Now that I have hopefully instilled some thoughts into your mind, imagine describing the fall season to someone who has never witnessed it in all its leaf and pumpkin glory!
Living in Arizona, it was sometimes difficult for students to write about fall since unless we drive a few hours north, we don’t really get the full experience. Several years ago I decided to teach my students about what a haiku is. We had learned about the basics of poetry and I thought fall would be the perfect time to learn about what haikus are. This way they could imagine fall and learn how to use their senses when writing.
Teaching Haiku Using the Fall Season
We first learned what a haiku is. While rhyming may be a fun aspect for some, learning that this type of poetry doesn’t have to rhyme was a treat for some kids. What really motivated the students was learning something about another culture. Explaining that a haiku is a Japanese poem encouraged students to do their best. By chance, we had a Japanese student who was still learning English in the class that year and they wanted to show their appreciation of their new friend!
Next, we practiced counting syllables because the syllable count is what makes this type of poetry what it is known for! The format is three lines and follows the format 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and then 5 syllables again.
After practicing counting syllables we then reviewed what an adjective is. While not necessary, adjectives that use the senses make a great haiku! We brainstormed keywords that we thought of when thinking about fall and wrote them on the board. We also practiced thinking of synonyms or “ten-point words” that could be used instead of commonly used adjectives. So for example instead of saying words like “red”, or “cool”, etc. they would think of words like “crimson” or “brisk”. Students love the idea of getting “points” to create better words.
Ten-point words don’t actually require any extrinsic reward but are a motivational way to have students enhance their vocabulary and use new words. Because let’s face it, no one would like to read twenty-something poems that all use the words red, yellow, or cool.
After editing rough drafts, students wrote their haiku using their best handwriting on a pumpkin template. Another year they drew pictures using oil pastels to go with their haiku. Side note: laminating oil pastel drawings creates a cool effect, but try it first before accidentally melting all of your student’s artwork. I learned this lesson the hard way, so most of the student’s artwork was more abstract looking than originally planned.
With my pack students will be able to choose from different templates unless you are looking for a cohesive look.
My Fall Haiku Pack comes with everything you need to teach haiku and comes with 18 different fall-themed templates for students to display their writing! Create an amazing bulletin board display for the fall season! This pack comes with templates that can be printed in color or black and white to be colored in.
For more fall-themed posts check out:
How to Survive the Entire Fall Season
How to Celebrate Halloween In the Classroom
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