Overall Description: This two-week unit will cover the basic forms of haiku (both American and Japanese traditions). We will spend a few days looking at various haiku authors, both traditional and temporary and at first simply work on reading and appreciating their haiku. Later in the unit, we will work on writing our own haiku based on images, or in response to what we have read. We will discuss the different types of haiku (senryu, different kinds of links). Students will also have the option of writing a rengay with a partner. Finally, we will conclude the unit with a kukai, in which we will read and appreciate one another's haiku and pick favorites. The winners of this kukai will receive haiku-themed prizes (such as copies of Mayfly or Modern Haiku or copies of books by some of the authors we have studied).
Subject: English Language Arts (specifically poetry)
Duration: This two-week unit will span 10 fifty-minute class periods
Grade-level: This unit can be taught at virtually any level, but is meant to be an introduction to poetry and would probably be taught to 9th or 10th graders. Could be modified to go more in depth and for a longer duration if desired . . . there's a wealth of information out there!
Illinois State Learning Standards covered in this unit
IL.1.A.4b: Compare the meaning of words and phrases and use analogies to explain the relationships among them.
IL.1.A.5b: Analyze the meaning of abstract concepts and the effects of particular word and phrase choices.
IL.1.C.4e: Analyze how authors and illustrators use text and art to express and emphasize their ideas (e.g., imagery, multiple points of view).
IL.1.C.5d: Summarize and make generalizations from content and relate them to the purpose of the material.
IL.1.C.5e: Evaluate how authors and illustrators use text and art across materials to express their ideas (e.g., complex dialogue, persuasive techniques).
IL.2.A.4a: Analyze and evaluate the effective use of literary techniques (e.g., figurative language, allusion, dialogue, description, symbolism, word choice, dialect) in classic and contemporary literature representing a variety of forms and media.
IL.2.A.4d: Describe the influence of the author's language structure and word choice to convey the author's viewpoint.
IL.3.B.4c: Evaluate written work for its effectiveness and make recommendations for its improvement.
IL.4: GOAL: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
IL.4.A.4a: Apply listening skills as individuals and members of a group in a variety of settings (e.g., lectures, discussions, conversations, team projects, presentations, interviews).
IL.4.A.4b: Apply listening skills in practical settings (e.g., classroom note taking, interpersonal conflict situations, giving and receiving directions, evaluating persuasive messages).
Students will gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the art of haiku (both Japanese and American)
Students will write their own haiku either in response to images or in response to haiku they have read in class
Students will discern what they believe to be the essential elements of haiku
Students will be able to distinguish between word, content and scent links
Students will work together to write a rengay
Students will participate in a kukai (group reading) at the end of the week and respectfully discuss one another's work
Formal assessment seems antithetical to haiku, so students will mostly receive completion points for doing their daily work. If a student has clearly read the material and put thought into the response, he or she will receive the full amount of points. At the end of the week, students will also receive a participation grade worth up to 15 points (they will receive the full amount if they have respectfully participated in discussions for the last two weeks). There are a total of 100 points possible for this unit.
British Haiku Society's "Haiku Teaching Kit"
Peggy Lyles - To Hear the Rain
George Swede - Almost Unseen
Makato Ueda - Matsuo Bash?
Cor Van Den Heuvel - The Haiku Anthology (Third Edition)
Masajo Suzuki (translated by Emiko Miyashita and Lee Gurga) - Love Haiku
Assorted works of Francine Porad
Some handouts adapted from Dr. Randy Brooks's IN350 - Global Haiku Traditions