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Creating and Presenting Haiku with Kid Pix Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-EDT0201
Submitted by: D. Stumpf
Email: sastumpf@ix.netcom.com
School/University/Affiliation: Penn State University

July 10, 2001

Grade Level: 3, 4


  • Computer Science
  • Language Arts/Writing

Duration: Two 45-minute sessions

Description: Students will learn about the history and characteristics of Haiku poetry. Students will use Kid Pix to present an original Haiku of their own.


  • Students will be able to explain the history and characteristics of Haiku poetry.
  • Students will be able to use Kid Pix to illustrate a piece of Haiku.
  • Objectives:

  • After a teacher presentation of the history and characteristics of Haiku, students will be able to correctly answer Haiku related questions.
  • After viewing samples of Haiku, students will be able to create an original Haiku of their own using general Haiku characteristic guidelines.
  • During the second class period, students will use Kid Pix to type in and illustrate their Haiku.
  • Materials:

    • computers with Internet access
    • computer projector
    • Kid Pix (with slide show component)
    • Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs!: The Life and Poems of Issa by Matthew Gollub
    • information about Haiku history and characteristics (see below)
    • Haiku poetry samples
    • pencils

    Day 1:
    Read the book, Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs!: The Life and Poems of Issa by Matthew Gollub. Have students re-read some of the 33 Haiku from the book. Ask students to look for similarities and differences among the poems. Have them compare their observations of Haiku to traditional poetry. Discuss the history and characteristics of Haiku poetry.

    [ Haiku History: The poetry form of Haiku was developed in Japan and later became popular in the United States. Haiku is the shortest form of poetry in Japan. It tells a story or makes a picture in your mind of something that happens in nature. Many descriptive words are used in Haiku. The modern form of Haiku dates from the 1890’s and developed from earlier forms of poetry, Hokku and Haikai. The great Japanese master of Haiku was Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). The name Basho means banana tree, and was adopted by the poet when he moved into a hut located next to a banana tree.]

    [ General Characteristic Guidelines for Haiku: Haiku consists of 17 syllables and is usually written in three lines. There are five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. It does not rhyme. Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word, which indicates in which season the Haiku is set. For example, cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow indicates winter, and mosquitoes indicate summer, but the season word isn’t always that obvious. The poem contains a cutting or division between two contrasting parts. In English, the first or second line usually ends with a colon or long dash to indicate this cutting. In writing Haiku, contemplate nature and the present moment. Use verbs in the present tense, and choose each word very carefully.]

    To assess student understanding of Haiku, elicit student responses to the following questions: What country did Haiku originate from? (Japan) What year does the modern form of Haiku date from? (1890’s) What is Haiku usually written about? (nature) How many syllables are in the poem? (17) How many lines does the poem usually have? (3) How many syllables should each line have? (1st-5, 2nd-7, 3rd-5) What verb tense should you use when writing Haiku? (present) Does Haiku rhyme? (no)

    Have students close their eyes and imagine themselves walking through the woods, lying in the grass, walking through a field, etc. Create a list on the board of how the students are feeling about the nature around them. Show students examples of Haiku and use a computer projector to demonstrate writing Haiku using the “Create your own Haiku” (from drop-down menus) web site (see Internet Resources ). Have students write their own original Haiku (assign for homework, if time does not permit completion in class).

    Day 2:
    Have students type and illustrate their Haiku on the computer using Kid Pix . After the students have created their individual Haiku illustrations in Kid Pix , the teacher will then combine the slides into one class Haiku presentation (using Kid Pix slide show). Instructions for creating a Kid Pix slide show can be found at: http://www.schools.ash.org.au/revesby/kpss.html . Show the completed slide show to the class. Optional : Print out the presentation and make a class book of Haiku for everyone to enjoy. The class book can be sent home with a different child each day to share with his or her family.

    Assessment: Observe students’ participation during the class discussion about the history of Haiku. Does each student’s piece of Haiku follow the correct format?

    Useful Internet Resources:
    * North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
    Contains information about Haiku history and characteristics.

    * Create your own pseudo-Haiku poetry
    Create your own Haiku from drop-down menus.

    * Japanese Haiku
    Student Haiku samples with accompanying pictures.

    * How to make a Kid Pix slide show