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The Japanese People invented a beautiful kind of poetry called haiku. The word “Haiku” means “game-verse.” The form is sometimes called Hokku or haikai, but these names are not correct. Haiku is a longer verse form called the tanka. These are very short poems and they do not have rhyming words. They often contain deep meanings, suggesting more than what is said. Their imagery paints pictures with words. They have three lines with a total of only 17 syllables, arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5. Usually there are 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line and 5 syllables in the last line. Haiku poetry usually describes something found in nature. Here is an example of haiku:

Layers of color
Curving across sunny clouds
After the rain ends.

What do you think this describes? That is right, a rainbow. What are some of the clues that tells you this?


Directions: Print out. Can you guess the answer?
a, b or c. Circle the correct answer.


1. Blowing, drifting snow
Piling high above our boots
Walking is hard.

tornadob. blizzardc. earthquake

A zoo animal
Black and white horse-like body
Interesting stripes.

a. Zebrab. Tigerc. Bear


Growing, giving life
To blossoms, fruits and shades
Bark, branches and leaves.

a. Riverb. Grassc. Tree


Big hot ball of fire
Grows our food and keeps us warm
Bright light in the sky.

a. Matchb. Sunc. Moon




Tumbling and roaring
Bubbling, moving so quickly
Falling down wet - SPLASH!

a. Mountainb. Riverc. Waterfall


Friendly, welcome pet
Comes in all shapes and sizes
He is man’s best friend.

a. Dogb. Spiderc. Skunk


Leaves changing color
Squirrels preparing for winter
Season of harvest.

a. Summerb. Fallc. Winter


Sunny, hot and dry
Cactus, lizards, lots of sand
No break from the heat.

a. Desertb. Oceanc. Playground


Beautiful flower
That has a very sweet smell
And a thorny stem

a. tulipb. dandelionc. rose


Fuzzy, wuzzy worm
Soon you will spin a cocoon
Then you will be changed.

a. snake b. caterpillar c. butterfly

1. Illustrate one or more of the previous haiku poems. Use the Haiku Poem print-out. Illustrate and copy the poem.
2. Write original haiku for these and other topics: mountain, ocean, cat, river, apple, spring, mushroom, volcano, kangaroo, whale, etc.

Click here to open the blank page. Hit the print button in the browser and write your own Haiku!