Poetry projects for kids:  Haikus

“Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry.  Haiku poems consist of 3 lines.  The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables.  The lines rarely rhyme.

I am first with five
Then seven in the middle —
Five again to end.

Because Haikus are such short poems, they are usually written about things that are recognizable to the reader.  Animals and seasons are examples of recognizable topics children might enjoy exploring.

What am I? Haikus:

The most popular Haiku exercise I have found for children is a “What am I?” Haiku.  These act like a riddle.  The writer uses the Haiku to describe something.  The other children in the class can then attempt to guess what the poet was describing after listening to or reading the Haiku.

The poem can be read aloud by the poet with their classmates guessing the answer after it is read or all the Haikus can be hung on the bulletin board giving everyone the chance to read and guess.

Here are two examples of “What am I?” Haikus:

Green and speckled legs,
Hop on logs and lily pads
Splash in cool water.


In a pouch I grow,
On a southern continent —
Strange creatures I know.