Valentine’s Day, Groundhogs and President’s Day have all been over used. Black History Month has been covered extensively too. So you wonder, “What’s an educator supposed to do in order to inject a bit of novelty into February’s list of themes?” Our answer is, “Why not create a lesson plan around National Haiku Month?” It typically takes place in February and we have some fun bulletin board ideas that may help:
How Do You Haiku?
Haiku is an old form of Japanese poetry, dating back to the 1600’s, made popular by Samurai warrior, Basho. In short, a Haiku poem consists of 3 lines and 17 syllables, with the first and last line consisting of 5 moras (syllables) and the middle line consisting of 7 moras . Keep in mind that, over the centuries, haiku has gone through several periods of development. For example, in the 1700s, writers were heavily combining poetry with painting and calligraphy. Scholars have since referred to it as the “Haiga Period.” Consider transporting the kids back in time to haiga’s heyday and let them decorate the classroom’s bulletin boards with their handiwork. Doing so will give them a chance to practice their handwriting, language and artistic skills, all in one shot. You could also use some of the board space to focus on the historical aspects of the period by highlighting certain poets or world events.
Who is Won Ton and Dogku?
Remember that there have been a lot of children’s books written about haiku and in haiku format. So you might want to focus your classroom’s bulletin boards and book trucks on at least some of them. Two books that would be perfect for such applications are, Lee Wardlaw’s Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku and Andrew Clements’ Dogku. Both wonderfully illustrated books are written in haiku and center on stray animals in search of loving homes.
After story hour, the kids could create haiga to share their thoughts about each of their pets or the ones mentioned in the stories. A few other books to consider using throughout the month are M.J. Rosen’s The Hound Dog’s Haiku and Other Poems for Dog Lovers, Jack Prelutsky’s If Not for the Cat and Mark Reibstein’s Wabi Sabi.
To find high quality bulletin boards and other classroom furnishings needed to help keep the kids learning throughout National Haiku Month, please contact us at Worthington Direct. Many of our classroom essentials ship within 24-hours. So if you act now, having them in time for the kickoff of your February lesson plan shouldn’t be a problem.