Looking for a simple yet unique writing activity for your child on Valentine’s Day? Why not have her try her hand at writing poetry in the form of a Japanese-style haiku? Haiku, dating back to 17th century Japan, are brief, 3 line poems that follow a strict syllabic pattern.
Haiku poets often focus on simple subjects, but choose their words very carefully. With so few syllables, each word in the poem is meaningful. Challenge your child to consider her word choices carefully, and think about how each word adds to the meaning of the poem.
What You Need:
- Notebook or several sheets of paper
What You Do:
- Begin this activity by having your child brainstorm a list of things that pop into her mind when she thinks about Valentine’s Day (hearts, cards, love, candy, etc.).
- After completing this brainstorming activity, review with her the haiku format. Haiku has three lines one right after the other. Each line has a certain number of syllables: the first line has five syllables, the second has seven, and the third has five. There are no firm rules regarding capitalization and punctuation in English haiku, nor does haiku have to be in complete sentences.
- Before she begins writing her poem, you may want to review some simple syllable counting with her to ensure that she is confident in this skill.
- Next, have her select a few items from her brainstorming list that she would like to include in her poem.
- Assist her in counting the syllables to reach the total needed in each line. If it would help, you may want to write a haiku together before she writes her own independently. Here are a few examples: I Love Valentine Hearts filled with a Special Love Sweethearts, Cards, Chocolate Valentine’s Day Mush So sweet I cannot stand it Please send the CANDY!
Writing haiku is fun for all ages. Work together writing as a family and see who can write the best or the silliest haiku. Before you know it you’ll be composing poetry and counting word syllables as you are traveling in the car or going for a walk.