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Lesson Plans

We are pleased to present these resources for teachers of all educational levels. The plans are offered as supplements to existing language arts curricula and as tools for teachers. You’ll discover that they are well integrated with many other offerings which you can find on The Haiku Foundation website, making the creation of complete lessons simple and easily navigated.

The Kindergarten lesson plan is offered in a single section, which can be repeated multiple times. The plans for subsequent elementary grade pairs are offered in three sections: Awareness, Reading, and Writing. This overview for these first 10 plans will help you see in advance the scale and resources required to implement them. Plans for Junior and Senior High School are overviews of the kinds of resources that you may find and utilize on the THF site. Most of these formal lesson plans are by Jim Kacian, THF President; and Ellen Grace Olinger, Ed.D. They use resources that are available at The Haiku Foundation. Naturally the sections are all related; you can tailor any one of them to your specific teaching goals. All materials here are free for your use.

We will continue to add to this list, with lesson plans for college and adult education to follow.

Other Educational Plans

In addition to these formal, unified plans, we have also encouraged educators to share their approaches with us. Here are some of the offerings we’ve received.

For a general introductory volume in The Haiku Foundation Digital Library, How to Haiku, by THF Founder and President Jim Kacian that you might find useful.

And this report from Kala Ramesh, who has taught haiku in India for nearly a decade:

To which we add these additional “stories from the field” from a bevy of talented and experienced teachers, who share some of their best — and most frightening — moments with you, from the series “Teaching Stories.”

We also house many essays and articles on the praxis of haiku, some of which you will find in our scholarly journal Juxtapositions, some in our Online Digital Essay Library, and some here, such as Martin Berner’s comments:

Here is a short video on teaching children in primary school in Italy by Toni Piccini:

Additional Resources

New to Haiku is a work in progress. You can find a summary page of our blog posts here. We plan to cover the following topics: introductory materials and recommendations for further reading, tips for editing your work and managing your submissions, ways to connect with the larger haiku community, words of advice from established haiku poets, and a teen corner for our younger friends.

The Haiku Registry is a gallery of poets who have published English-language haiku or senryu in an edited journal, either in print or online.

We also offer a host of excellent examples of contemporary haiku via The Haiku Foundation’s Digital Library, and especially through collections and anthologies which have been used in the preparation of these lessons. The collection Haiku Theses, Dissertations and Bibliographies might be especially helpful.

We recommend Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, edited by Foundation president Jim Kacian with Allan Burns and Philip Rowland, as the definitive word on how haiku has evolved in English, and the Foundation’s publication Montage: The Book, edited by Allan Burns, as the premier themed collection available in the language. To access an online archive of Montage, see our Montage Archive page.

In addition, you’ll find these volumes of note in the Digital Library:

to which we will be adding as time goes along.

Feedback & Education Resource Submissions

We welcome your input, both as responses to our specific lesson plans as well as poems generated from them for exhibit on this site. We hope this page will soon be thronging with examples of poems written by your students with your help. When you submit your students’ poems please be sure to include the poet’s name, grade, age, as well as permission to reprint from his or her parent or guardian (an email authorizing the use of such material is sufficient).

We also welcome your own experiences in teaching this material and any other haiku teaching experiences—anecdotes, success stories, or anything else you feel is worthwhile to share. We will include the most appropriate of these here on the Education Wall to share with others.

All submissions of poems, stories and lesson plans should be sent via the Contact page.

We hope, with time, that this page will become an interactive resource for teachers of all grade levels who have the desire to teach haiku to their students, and want to go deeper than the populist notion that haiku is “anything written in 5-7-5.” We look forward to working with you to help this site meet your needs.

Jim Kacian, THF President
Ellen Grace Olinger, Ed.D
Brad Bennett, Education Committee Co-Chair
Jeannie Martin, Education Committee Co-Chair

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