1st Grade - Social Studies

LESSON PROBLEM: What is a haiku? How do you write a haiku?


Haiku is a form of poetry.

Haiku began in Japan. The Japanese poet Matsuo Basho was considered the first master of haiku.

A haiku is a short poem with 3 lines containing words with a total of 17 syllables. The lines usually contain syllables in this pattern:

First line = 5 syllables

Second line = 7 syllables

Third line = 5 syllables

The content and elements of a haiku are:

It is about nature or one of the four seasons
It captures a moment in time like a photograph
It has a division between two contrasting images, usually one on nature, the other the way nature is linked to human beings
It is always written in the present tense
It makes a reader feel an emotion, like peace, sadness or mystery

A haiku usually does NOT contain the following:

Descriptions of emotions
Words about machinery
The "I" or "me", personal words

A haiku captures a moment in nature and links it to a human emotion.

Read the following haiku outloud.

Rice paddy waves green

in the summer sun and rain--

Rice kernel boiling

Does our Rice Haiku contain the correct number of syllables and the elements of a haiku?
Let's see.
First line is 5 syllables. Second line is 7 syllables. The third line contains 5 syllables, for a total of 17.
There are 3 lines.

Our Rice Haiku mentions a season, summer, and talks about nature. It also has a division between nature, the rice paddy. What happens to rice after it is harvested? We eat it! So the human link is the rice kernel boiling in our pots for dinner!!

So we have written our Rice Haiku! Try writing more soon.


Create your own haiku! Don't forget to think about nature for awhile before you start your haiku.


Submit the haiku you wrote in the Activity section to a contest. Who knows what you might win! Illustrate your haiku.

  • haiku
  • syllable
  • line
  • count
  • word
  • unrhymed
  • season
  • photograph
  • moment
  • form
  • poem
  • nature
  • short

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
Baldo is actually a type of specialty rice grown right here in the U.S. Other types include basmati, jasmine and arborio.
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