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Weekend Fun: International Haiku Poetry Day with Cherry Blossom Craft

Weekend Fun: International Haiku Poetry Day with Cherry Blossom Craft
April is National Poetry Month and April 17 is International Haiku Poetry Day. Why not have some family fun making up haiku poems?

Haiku is a short poem that originated in Japan. It has only 17 syllables and three lines: The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven, and the third line has five. It usually captures a moment or makes an observation about something, and the theme is often about nature. Matsuo Basho was a famous poet in the 17th century who wrote many haiku poems. Here is one of them:

The Old Pond

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Try writing your own haiku! Pick a theme – like birds or meadows. Brainstorm with a paper and pencil, writing as many things as you can about your theme. This is fun to do in a small group, so try it with your family. You can use our template to help – make a copy for each family member who is participating. Everyone writes down the words and ideas as people say them, then set a timer for 15 minutes and see what you can do. Even though you all worked with the same words and ideas, everyone’s haiku poem will be different!
Here is how we brainstormed about meadows:

Haiku Writing Help

Prepared by Youth Services, Franklin Township Library (

Theme: ___________meadows____________________

Brainstorming! Write all the words and phrases  you can think of about the theme:

Breeze Flowers Wildflowers
Birds Tall grasses Green
Gold Abundant Animals hide
Grassy Seeds Burrow
Dirt Empty Full
No pattern Pretty Sunny
Rain Colors quiet
Daisies Buttercups Black-eyed susans
Coneflowers Wild roses bugs

Choose some words that you like best:

  • breeze
  • daisies
  • grassy
  • abundant
  • empty
  • full

Draw five short lines in a row. Underneath, draw seven short lines in a row, and then draw five more on the next line. Choose some words from your list (add new ones if you wish) and write them with one syllable on each line, like this:

__emp _ty__  _field_      __dry_   __bare___

_a_  _bun_  _dant_      _dai_    _sies_   sway_    _ing__

_not_    _emp_   _ty_    _but_  _full_

And here is what it looks like when written without lines and spaces:

Empty field, dry, bare

Abundant daisies swaying

Not empty, but full

Cherry Blossom Craft

Illustrate your haiku with a cherry blossom craft! Japan is famous for its cherry blossoms.

What you need:

  • crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • paper
  • pink paint (or mix red and white)
  • finger tip or cotton swab or bubble wrap

What you do:

  1. Use the markers to draw a tree branch.
  2. Dip your finger tip or other object in the pink paint.
  3. “Stamp” the paint around the tree branch to form cherry blossoms.

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