Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Seasonal Haiku: Writing Poems to Celebrate Any Season

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Seasonal Haiku: Writing Poems to Celebrate Any Season

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • identify subject matter and format criteria of traditional haiku.
  • use traditional criteria to write haiku.
  • use descriptive words to create visual images in writing.
  • use visual art to interpret their own written images.

back to top


Session One

  1. Arrange students into three heterogeneous groups, with reading, writing, and speaking ability balanced among the groups. Each group will need table space. Tell students that each group will create a word chart. Give each group one piece of chart paper and two markers.
  2. Ask one group of students to think about the current season, and write a list of words or phrases that depict things (nouns) that are indicative of it. For example, during winter, responses might include snow, ice, thunder, bare tree branches, and pine trees. During spring, responses might include flowers, buds, new leaves, and ducklings.
  3. Ask another group of students to chart words that will describe the season (adjectives). For example, during summer, responses might include hot, boiling, sizzling, and bright. During autumn, responses might include crunchy, brown, and dying.
  4. The third group will write words that are actions for the season (verbs). Examples might be swim for summer, skate for winter, bloom for spring, or fall for autumn.
  5. Give students time to generate as many words as they can on one piece of chart paper. When the three word charts are complete, post them so that all students can review all charts and give input. Some words may be added to (or deleted from) each chart as students discover that they are categorized by parts of speech.
  6. Tell students that the next day, they will use the word charts in a poetry-writing activity.

back to top


Session Two

  1. Read aloud two or three haiku, one at a time, with time for student reaction after each one. Ask students to respond with their feelings or impressions about what they hear.
  2. Post the previously transcribed haiku where all students can see them. Have students observe and read the poems to themselves; then, ask if anyone has noticed anything similar about all three poems. Point out in the poems any observations that are mentioned. When students have finished responding, choose one of the poems and have students read it aloud together. Then read the poem one line at a time, having students count the syllables in each line. Write the number of syllables in the margin next to each line.
  3. Move to the second poem and repeat the process of counting syllables. Ask students to make an observation about the line and syllable pattern of the poems.
  4. Make a reference chart for haiku for students to use as they write. Ask students questions about the poems to help them identify the criteria for the poems. Some examples might be

    • Do you see any similarities about these poems?
    • What kinds of things do they make you think about?
    • What kinds of things are happening?
    You will want students to recognize that the poems depict images, and that they follow a pattern of three lines and the 5-7-5 syllable pattern.

  5. Students will work independently to write their own haiku, using words from the charts to help them generate ideas. Make sure that students understand that the word lists are for reference and ideas; encourage them to use their own words if they think of something that is not on the charts.
  6. Circulate among students to answer and ask questions, and have students check their syllable patterns. As students write particularly interesting phrases, share them with the class to help those who are having difficulty with ideas.
  7. If students will be publishing using the paper method, have them rewrite them in the center of 8x11 white or parchment paper. Remind them that they are publishing, so they need to be using their best printing. Have students trace over their pencil writing with a fine-tipped black marker and save their work for the illustration activity.
  8. If students are using computers or tablets, model which software they will be using.  Show students where to save their images for the backgrounds of their haikus.  Then allow time for students to work.  Circulate around the room to help those who have problems with the software.

back to top


Session Three

  1. Hand out the Haiku Evaluation Rubric.  Together evaluate one of the haikus you read during session one.

  2. If using the paper method to publish:

    • Students will mount their final copy of their haiku in the center of 9x12 construction paper, then use torn paper designs to illustrate the feeling or image of the poem. Have available for students a selection of 9x12 sheets of construction paper for backgrounds, and smaller pieces of a larger variety of colors to use for the torn paper designs.

    • Have students refer to one of the haiku that was transcribed on chart paper. Ask them to talk about the image depicted in the haiku, and the feelings it evokes. Have them talk about colors and/or shapes that would help illustrate these things.

    • Give students directions for affixing their poems to construction paper backgrounds. Tell them they will be using torn paper to make designed borders that illustrate the images or feelings in their poems. Show students how to tear construction paper to create a shape or design, if they need an example. Show how even straight lines should have torn edges.

    • Students will work independently to create torn paper designs for their poem backgrounds. As they finish, display their work.

    • Pair up students and have them evaluate each other’s haikus.  Allow time for students to make revisions.

3.  If using tablets or computers, allow time for students to complete their haikus.  Then pair up students and allow time for students to evaluate each other haikus.  Provide the opportunity for students to revise their haikus.  Once all have had the opportunity to revise, project the haikus through the LCD projector and share together the finished poems.


back to top



  • If the class as a whole needs more support, create the word charts one at a time with the whole class participating, and model the writing of one haiku with the whole class participating in the writing.
  • Instead of torn paper construction paper borders, have students use a different medium, such as watercolor washes, tissue paper or other collages, or chalk designs on black backgrounds.
  • If computers are available, students could create their final copies of Fall Haikus using the Seasonal Haiku Reproducibles. Here, students can type the haikus within the leaves and print them out for their very own Fall Haiku Book or cut them out to create a falling leaves bulletin board.
  • For Halloween haiku, try the "Ghosts and Ghouls" in the Fridge Magnets interactive. For fun, the interactive also includes collections of words for haiku about dragons, sweets, and cats. Alternately, use the ReadWriteThink interactive Word Mover.
  • Print the haikus that were created using the Haiku Poem App and/or Haiku Student Interactive.  Display in the school hallways for all to see.
  • Create a class webpage at Google or Wix or class wiki at Wikispaces.  Post the haikus that the students created using the app or student interactive.

back to top



  • Teacher observation of individual student participation in group work.

  • Teacher observation of students’ individual work.

  • Finished haiku following required written criteria.

  • Relationship of visual and written images in finished work.

  • Student/teacher conferences about student work.

  • Evaluation of the haiku using the Haiku Evaluation Rubric.

back to top