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Lesson Plan

Learning about Clouds with Haikus

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Learning about Clouds with Haikus

Grades 4 – 6
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



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From Theory to Practice



Students research the various types of clouds using print and online materials.  Then students write haikus using the Haiku App or the Haiku Poem Interactive, but they do not include the names of the clouds.  The students share their haikus and guess what type of cloud each haiku describes.

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Haiku Starter: This printout will help students brainstorm before writing their haikus.

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Middle school science teacher Anthony Cody discovered that one of the best ways to avoid students just “spewing” back facts from research is to engage the students in a creative writing assignment.  In this type of challenge, Cody found students tend to understand the topic in depth and are “able to explain it [the research] in a way that makes it fresh.”  Assigning the students to write haikus will give them the opportunity to present the facts in a new way that will challenge them to fit the brief form of this type of poetry.

Furthermore, Matthew Cheney explains that students commonly complain about learning poetry because in past classrooms teachers have over analyzed poems, pointing out the literary characteristics.  He suggests that instead educators should concentrate on how haikus freeze single images, which is exactly what the students’ haikus describing clouds will achieve.

Cheney, Matthew. "Expanding Vision: Teaching Haiku." English Journal 91.3 (January 2000): 79-83.

Read more about this resource


Cody, Anthony. "Creative Writing in Science Class." Education Week Teacher PD Sourcebook. Education Week, 10 Sept. 2008. Web. 5 Jan. 2014.

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