As a teacher, first explain the haiku's rigid structural format of five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Read several to the class. There are some wonderful Japanese haiku available, several of which I have included at the end of this article. Establish a mood. To do so, use visual imagery and/or music or pictures of pastoral scenes, and when the students seem to have some glorious scene in their mind's eye, challenge them to record it -- in seventeen syllables. Do not break the mood until poetry is produced. Then read the products to the class. Students who have written a haiku might try a senryu, poems with the same format as haiku but about any topic, or a tanka, a five-lined poem about nature with syllables per line of five, seven, five, seven, seven. Students can then recopy their poetry and illustrate it, decorating the room with their images of beauty. This type of poetry is like a walk in the park. It is perfect for those break-away days when the world is too beautiful to do anything else but write poetry.
The skills and knowledge captured in the ELA/literacy standards are designed to prepare students for life outside the classroom. They include critical-thinking skills and the ability to closely and attentively read texts in a way that will help them understand and enjoy complex works of literature. Students will learn to use cogent reasoning and evidence collection skills that are essential for success in college, career, and life. The standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person who is prepared for success in the 21 st century.