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Lesson Plan

Animate that Haiku!

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Animate that Haiku!

Grades 5 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






  • Samples of haiku poetry from books and/or websites
  • Classroom computer with projection capabilities
  • Computers with Internet capabilities and headphones
  • Items from nature such as pinecones, pebbles, and dried flowers

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  • Animoto

    At this website teachers can sign up for a free educator account which provides one month access for fifty students.

  • Seymour Simon

    This is the website for noted children’s science author Seymour Simon where each week he posts a "Cool Photo of the Week," which can serve as inspiration for writing haikus.

  • KidZone Poetry

    Although this website is geared for elementary students, it can serve as an introduction to haiku poetry and most of the haikus are illustrated with at least one image.

  • The Haiku Society of America

    The portions of the current issue of this society’s journal Frogpond is online.  Since the haikus are not illustrated, the haikus at this website would be useful to have the students identify the descriptive, concise language of haikus.

  • North Carolina Haiku Society

    At this website you will find several haikus, some traditional and some not.  None are illustrated, so again students can explain what images the language of the haiku evoke.

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  1. Sign up for a free educator account at Animoto, and then create student accounts.  Instructions for creating student accounts came be found at How Do I Set Up Accounts for My Students?.
  2. Familiarize yourself with Animoto using the Animoto Instructions printout.  Depending on the level of your students, you might want to make one copy of this for each student.
  3. Decide where you will post the students’ finished slideshows.  One possibility is to create a classroom wiki at Wikispaces, another free resource.
  4. Reserve time in your school’s computer lab for one session.
  5. Select several haikus from the websites listed and/or from the Suggested Haiku Books printout to use during the first class session.  Choose haikus that follow the traditional format as well as ones that do not.  If you use haikus online without images, find at least one image per haiku online that could correspond with these selected haikus.  Save these images to the classroom computer that will be used for projecting.  Least Things:  Poems about Small Nature by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple is an excellent resource for showing haikus combined with photography.
  6. Using one of the selected haikus, create an Animoto slideshow to share with the students.
  7. Collect nature items, such as pinecones, pebbles, and dried flowers, for your classroom to serve as inspiration during the writing process.
  8. Find nature images online that you can print or use actual photographs to serve as additional inspiration.  If you search “Cool Photo of the Week” at Seymour Simon’s website, you will find many interesting nature images that will engage students.
  9. Make one copy of first page of the Haiku Starter and the Haiku Rubric for each student.

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