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Haiku is an interesting form of poetry that can be a lot of fun for children and adults alike. There are a number of different types of haiku for kids, including silly and fun poems. On the other hand, such poems may also cover some serious matters, usually addressing tough issues in a lighter way. Haiku is, above all, a good form of expression.
The art of haiku poetry began with the Japanese. These short poems are meant to capture a moment in just a few words, or more precisely, in just a few syllables. Haiku creates vivid imagery through the use of descriptive language.
The commonly used structure of this form of poetry is three lines, combining a total of 17 syllables. There are five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line, five again in the third line. Of course, this formula is not set in stone, and many people create their own types of haiku for kids using different formulas.
Capturing, and often sharing, the moment is the most important element. Writing something down is one way to remember specific events. Doing so in the form of haiku helps one remember and describe what they felt at that time, rather than just retaining a simple summation of the experience.
While early haiku for kids revolved around nature, any subject can be portrayed through this type of poetry. Many of the topics found still contain items from nature, such as animals, trees, flowers, the wind and other elements of weather, insects, and more. These items are often fascinating to children as they grow and begin to explore their world.
Haiku for kids can also just be silly or funny. Poems might address school, friends, family, pets, everyday life, and all the crazy things that can happen in a given day. A bird flying through the window in the middle of class can be related in a much more exciting way through the use of haiku, than simply telling someone about it in typical fashion.
Sometimes haiku for kids can be a bit more on the serious side, expressing many feelings such as love or concern or even pain. Many important issues can be expressed creatively, since there is no right or wrong when it comes to feelings. Sometimes, a child that doesn’t feel like discussing an issue aloud might agree to write down his or her feelings especially using a simple and interesting outlet such as poetry.
There are some really good haiku examples out there for kids if you have a look online and in your local library.
Luckily poetry for children has become more accepted by mainstream poets. At one point it was looked down on and that's a shame because people who are good with words can create wonderful haiku for children.
I especially like the ones which tell a joke or a riddle. If you can get the kids involved with the poetry, they'll always enjoy it.
When I was a kid this was my favorite kind of poetry. It just seemed so easy and fun to go around composing little snippets of my day into a three line form.
And last year I managed to get a haiku of mine published. So I guess it's a good idea to start them off young!
The local student newspaper when I was in university used to have a lighthearted segment where they would summarize local news in haiku form.
I often thought, while reading it that it would be a wonderful game for children (and good practice for social media!).
Get them to read a short story or even listen to the news or a documentary and then have them summarize it in haiku form.
Not only will they have fun with poetry, they'll also learn how to summarize information which is a good skill to know in this day and age.
You'll also be able to help them with their reading and listening comprehension this way. Sometimes it's difficult to realize your kid isn't actually taking in all the relevant information. This way you can help them out if they seem to be missing the point.
If your kids aren't quite old enough to grasp the concept of syllables (although you should give them the benefit of the doubt, you'd be surprised how easily a child will pick up the subtleties of language) you might want to make a haiku about words rather than syllables.
So, say it has to be 5 words, then seven words, then five words.
If it's a young child making up poems to say, this will also help them to become more comfortable with numbers.
There are some beautiful haiku poems for kids around though, and some which are hilarious as well.