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How We Haiku — Teaching Stories 15

Teaching and Learning Haiku in Community and Classroom: Stories, Challenges, Adventures

Do you teach haiku? In a classroom? An arts foundation? Community education? We want to hear about it. Want some new ideas? A place to vet an old idea before you try it “live”? Community support? How We Haiku — Teaching Stories is a monthly feature wherein we will share the many diverse and interesting ways your bring our favorite genre to your audience. Each month Brad Bennett and Jeannie Martin, co-chairs of The Haiku Foundation Education Committee, will host your stories of how you make haiku come alive for your students, and create an environment where educators can discuss the many challenges faced in bringing a fuller sense of haiku to a culture that knows little more than the stereotypes. Contact us to share your teaching stories, to ask your questions, and to find fellowship with your peers and the rest of the haiku community.

“We cannot teach a person directly, we can only facilitate his or her learning.”
— Carl Rogers

We welcome your comments (scroll down to the bottom of the page). And don’t forget about all the other fine education resources the Foundation has to offer.


This month Haiku Foundation Education Co-Chair Brad Bennett challenges us with a few questions.

Who We Teach, What We Teach, How We Teach

Since its inception in 2016, our Teaching Stories blog feature has posted articles by a variety of excellent teachers of haiku. Hopefully, you’ve been as inspired by their accounts of their teaching experiences as we have. For this month’s post, we thought it would be fun to ask some questions about haiku teaching. We invite you to reply via the comment section. You can pick one question, two questions, or a bunch. Let’s continue the dialogue about how we teach this rewarding poetry form.

• To whom have you taught haiku?
• How do you change your pedagogy based on your audience?
• How do you reach folks who don’t know much about haiku?
• How do people react when you tell them they don’t have to stick to the 5-7-5 model?
• Which groups have been the most receptive to learning about haiku?
• Which groups have been the least receptive to learning about haiku?
• What do you consider to be the most important elements of haiku when you teach?
• What other Japanese short forms have you taught?
• Do you ever teach haiku along with free verse?
• Which haiku lessons are most successful?
• Which lessons have bombed? Why?
• Which venues or spaces have been most amenable to teaching haiku?
• If you’ve been tentative about teaching haiku, what obstacles are in your way?
• Have you tried out any of the ideas you’ve read about in Teaching Stories?

Please dive into this pond — the water is fine! Share your answers to these questions, your stories, your own questions, your joys, and your frustrations! Join the conversation!

— Brad Bennett

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