HAIKU STRAW PAINTING
Level: Primary and up
Grades: K and up | Age: 5 and up | Written by:
[Carole is a teacher at Kaiser School in Oakland, CA.]
Students will learn how to write a Haiku poem. They will then discover how to make an ink painting to illustrate their poem.
What You Need:
- Learn about haiku poetry.
- Have the experience of writing a haiku.
- Make an ink painting to enhance the haiku.
What You Do:
- Haiku poems
- Slide or poster of a Japanese brush painting (optional).
- White construction or other heavy paper
- Higgins Black ink with dropper
- Brush and water jar (optional)
- Pink tissue paper (optional)
Tell students about HAIKU poetry and read some old and new examples.
Structure of Japanese 17th century Haiku poems:
- Have 3 lines (in classical structure the first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7 syllables, the last has 5 again, but that doesn't necessarily work in English, because the English language doesn't have as many words to describe the same things as the Japanese language does.)
- Refer to nature
- Use ordinary things to talk about significant issues like finding happiness in the beauty of nature, dying, falling in love, being left alone, not having friends, etc.
- Can be happy, sad, humorous, frightening, etc.
The mighty Eagle
Catches prey with talons bare
Listen to the squish
Night and silver moon
Neighbor playing on his flute
Very out of tune
Small, alone, a child
Sobs and tears in a corner
Darkness gives a hug
Winter rainy day
Playing in the big puddles
- Have student write a haiku poem. Check it for nature references and correct form.
- Have student neatly write the poem on the top left corner of the white paper.
- Drop a few (just need a tiny bit) drops of black ink on the paper (not on the poem part).
- With a straw, blow the ink around. If you get close you can move it all over the page to get branch-like shapes and little spidery shapes. If you blow hard, you get splat shapes.
- For older students, you can add "raindrops" by dipping a brush in ink, then putting it in water to dilute the ink, then holding the brush over the paper and tapping the brush lightly to make drops.
- For younger students, you can add "flowers" to the branches by gluing bits of crumpled pink tissue paper to the branches of the dried painting.
- Mount on large black paper to make a border around the painting.
Students of all ages LOVE this project, and the combined paintings make a great bulletin board display!
Haiku Picturebook for Children
by: Keisuke Nishimoto
Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs! : The Life and Poems of Issa
by Matthew Gollub
This introduction to an eighteenth century Japanese writer of haiku is as restrained, graceful, and concise as the art form it honors.
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