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Note to Teachers: This is a general lesson that refers to resources you may use at The Haiku Foundation. It is designed to provide some structure, and also be flexible, so you can adapt the plan to the needs of your students. Sharing haiku is central to the purpose of haiku (Jim Kacian, How to Haiku). Sharing may take several forms, including publications and performance. This new series of Lessons For All Ages is about ways of sharing haiku.

Sharing Haiku Lesson 1 — Book of the Week is the first lesson in this series.

This second lesson is about The Haiku Foundation Digital Library. There are 7 Total Collections:

  • Haiku Theses, Dissertations and Bibliographies
  • Haiku Foundation Audio Library
  • Haiku Journals
  • The Haiku Foundation Online Essay Collection
  • THF Cor van den Heuvel Haiku Library
  • THF World of Haiku
  • The Haiku Foundation Online Book Collection

In this Lesson For All Ages, we highlight the Online Book Collection. Future lessons on the Education Page will include content from other collections. We welcome you to browse these 7 collections.

Goal:

The goal is to learn about The Haiku Foundation Digital Library.

Lesson Objectives:

1. Share the 7 Collections in THF Digital Library. For the purpose of this lesson, the idea is simply for teachers and students to become aware of this resource.

2. To learn more about The Online Book Collection, through a group lesson from waiting in silence, by Ion Codrescu. Listening comprehension and sharing about haiku are the objectives.

Time: About 30 minutes.

Materials:

1. Chalkboard or easel, so you can copy a few poems from waiting in silence, and refer to them as you teach. Examples are provided in this lesson plan.

2. Access to The Haiku Foundation website is an added plus, and can enrich your lessons in many ways.

Method:

1. waiting in silence by Ion Codrescu is the book featured in this lesson. Note the information provided about the book on its page at THF Digital Library, Online Book Collection. As is appropriate for the ages and skill levels of your students, draw their attention to the information as a way to introduce the book. You will see that the page links to the book in the online collection. For example, the students will learn that waiting in silence is a book in English and Dutch, with haiku and haiga by Romanian poet Ion Codrescu. The publisher is ‘t schrijverke (2009), and the English translations are by Max Verhart. The source for the book is the Jim Kacian Archival Library, and the author, Ion Codrescu, has granted permission for the book to be available at The Haiku Foundation.

2. This is a selection of poems from waiting in silence. Select a few to share with your group of students. Write them on the board or easel. “A standard practice has grown up in English-language haiku circles to read a haiku, pause, and read it a second time, before moving on to the next poem. This has the advantage of allowing the images to be fixed a second time in the listener’s mind, and for the resonances to well up” (Jim Kacian, How to Haiku). Discuss the poems with the group. Perhaps a few students would like to read a poem aloud.

sumi-e practice — with every stroke the brush sound cloudless sky — a feather sticks to the clothes line weeding the garden he leaves the milkweed for the Monarchs morning fog — grinding ink for calligraphy practice cutting roses — the scarecrow watches me pumpkin garden — still wearing my old hat a pond in the field the scent of harvest lingers in the night – Ion Codrescu

Evaluation:

This lesson is designed to be a supplement to your formal curriculum. If the students enjoyed the lesson, it is a success.

Adaptations:

1. Provide additional support as needed, so that all students can have a positive experience. Perhaps a parent volunteer would like to be a part of haiku lessons.

2. Students can copy poems from the lesson in a notebook, with the author’s name. Some may wish to illustrate a poem, or write a draft of a new poem.

3. Keep a few poems available on a chalkboard or easel, so the students can reread them.

Additional Content:

The Haiku Foundation Digital Library offers a large and diverse collection of resources. We also invite you to view the haiga (haiku painting) of Ion Codrescu in THF Haiga Galleries.

“A haiku is the essential sketch of a single moment. But more than this, it practically is a moment” (Jim Kacian, How to Haiku).

References:

Codrescu, Ion. waiting in silence. (Den Bosch, Netherlands: t’ schrijverke, 2009).

Red Moon Press Catalog link.

Poet Profile for Ion Codrescu in The Haiku Registry.

Kacian, Jim. How to Haiku (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2006).

Poet Profile for Jim Kacian in The Haiku Registry.

Main site for The Haiku Foundation.

The Haiku Foundation Digital Library

Poet Profile for Garry Eaton, The Haiku Foundation Digital Librarian, in The Haiku Registry.

For more haiku lesson plans, specific to age and grade levels, please visit The Haiku Foundation Education Resources. The work of many teachers, poets, and scholars is featured there.

We hope this lesson is useful and look forward to your feedback.

Thanks to Jim Kacian for his work in publishing this lesson.

— Ellen Grace Olinger

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