Description: Students will discuss haiku by Masajo Suzuki and Peggy Lyles, two female contemporary haiku poets (Japanese and American, respectively). Students will receive a handout - "Seven Points about Writing Haiku" and attempt to write more of their own haiku in class based on their favorite pick from last night's reading. We will also spend some time discussing possible themes for the unit-ending kukai. As homework, students will have yet another haiku handout (this one with selections from the Haiku Anthology) and should write an extended memory response to one haiku, as well as one or two response haiku.
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.4: GOAL: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
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 discuss the haiku of Masajo Suzuki and Peggy Lyles, specifically the haiku they picked as their favorites.
Students will consider "Seven Points about Writing Haiku" and write more haiku in class based on their favorite haiku from the previous night's reading.
Students will participate in discussion respectfully and listen to one another's opinions.
Students will offer suggestions for a theme for the kukai, keeping in mind what they have written about so far.
Students will - for homework - write an extended memory response to a new haiku, and one to two haiku in response to the memory.
Teacher: extra copies of handouts from last two days (Swede and Basho, Suzuki and Lyles) for students who have been absent, "Seven Points about Writing Haiku" handout, selections for homework
Students: last night's reading selections and paragraph response homework (most likely handwritten), materials for note taking and writing new haiku, handouts provided by instructor
We will begin in much the same fashion as yesterday, discussing our favorite haiku by Suzuki and Lyles. However, this time, students have ostensibly completed their paragraph responses to favorite haiku and should have more to talk about. Students will hand in these assignments at the end of the discussion. Questions to jumpstart discussion:
Which haiku resonated with you the most?
These haiku are a bit more personal than Swede and Basho, as both women write very much from personal experience. Masajo Suzuki in particular had a very rough life - she spent many years of her life married, then got divorced and had an open affair with a married man, writing about it freely. She lived her life freely in the face of very strict Japanese traditions, which dictated that she should be a devoted wife and/or mother; she was neither. She ran a small pub in Japan for most of her adult life, and was known as quite a character.
Again, if students are having trouble getting started, I will offer my own favorite haiku and response. For instance:
the third-grade classroom
one desk short
I really like this particular Peggy Lyles haiku, because it gives the reader a very clear image. You can just imagine the first day of school in an old classroom with no air conditioning and windows flung wide open in vain hopes at catching a breeze. And this poor student has the misfortune of arriving late and is without a desk. For anyone who attended a small school like this, it is certainly a worst nightmare situation. Not only is the room unbearably hot, and probably will be for days, there aren't enough places to sit.
After we have (again) exhausted all possible avenues of discussion, and students have shared their favorites - if need be, I can make students go around in a circle, reading their paragraph responses, but I would really prefer to keep the discussion more informal - they will hand in their paragraph responses.
Next, students will receive a handout - "Seven Points about Writing Haiku" adapted from the British Haiku Society's teaching kit. We will go over the handout as a class, though it should be relatively self-explanatory. In particular, we will discuss syllable count - my rule is that students should not worry or fret about syllable count, that's by far the least important characteristic of haiku in my book. As long as they are following the other points about writing haiku - i.e., keeping the language simple and direct - then they should not have to worry about counting syllables.
My number one rule of haiku - keep it simple! This will be our mantra for the writing we will be doing over the next week and a half. The tendency when writing for English classes, and especially when writing poetry, is to use big, important sounding words in order to impress the teacher and the other students. However, for this unit, students must let go of those impulses
and instead write more directly - don't use a big word when a smaller one will do. Haiku are meant to be simple and unfettered.
After students have read the handout and if there are no questions, students will move on to writing more of their own haiku, this time in response to the favorite haiku they picked last night. If students would prefer to keep their paragraph responses to do this writing, they may take them back, provided they return them to me at the end of the period.
I will spend the rest of the period allowing students to write on their own. We will stop before the period ends and spend the last five minutes handing in responses and discussing possible themes for the kukai:
Now that you have had the opportunity to write some more haiku on your own, what topics would you like to write about?
What topics interest you? What could potentially produce some exciting haiku?
I have a few ideas in mind, including: childhood memories, haiku about whatever season we are currently in, haiku about the approaching holiday (whatever it may be - Valentine's Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.). Students will have a few more days to ruminate on possible topics, but they should remember that the kukai picks will be due before they know it (specifically, on day eight).
The homework for the night is another sheet of haiku selections by multiple authors from the Haiku Anthology.
They will write an extended memory response to a favorite haiku
Extended memory response: find a favorite haiku, one that evokes a particularly strong memory and then write a paragraph or two about that particular memory.
After students have written an extended memory response, they will write one or two haiku responding to the memory (and the original haiku, by extension).
The assessment for tonight is formal - students will read and appreciate the haiku in the packet, picking a favorite to which they will write an extended memory and haiku response(s).
No major accommodations should be needed for this lesson. If students seem to be having trouble writing haiku, we can attempt to work together as a class with a particular image or subject and write together.