Animal Haiku

A few weeks ago, my 1st-year students were studying “Animal Therapy” in their textbooks so I planned a two-day animal/pet themed lesson. In the first day, I reviewed/taught them fifteen different animal names and we used these to practice a textbook model dialogue about owning/wanting pets. In the second day, I taught the kids that the sounds animals make are expressed differently in Japanese and in English. Cats say “meow” in English, “nyaa” in Japanese; dogs say “woof” in English, “wan” in Japanese; horses say “neigh” in English, “hihiin” in Japanese; and lions say “roar” in English, “gaoo” in Japanese; and so on. After we went over these sounds, I set my kids loose with paper and Posca markers to create haiku about animals, and if possible, using the animal sounds they just learned. My kids this year tend to work better in pairs or groups, rather than on their own, so I let them choose a partner (or make small groups of 3) to write their haiku. Here are a few of my favorites…

1年生のAnimal Haiku

1年生のAnimal Haiku

1年生のAnimal Haiku

I’m not sure what it was about animals and hunger, but I noticed a lot of haiku poems about animals being turned into food! A LOT! These were the best ones following the recurring food/hunger theme.

1年生のAnimal Haiku
I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw the boys working on this one. They kept looking at my teaching partner and trying to agree on an animal – pig? no. snake? maybe. tiger? YES. And then they wrote this haiku. When they turned it in, I read it and told them, “This better not be about me!” and they all defended themselves saying, “no no no! Not you…. HER!” and I had to shush them so my teaching partner wouldn’t see. Oh, silly boys…

1年生のAnimal Haiku
This one was my favorite because the two girls worked really hard and even put in the extra effort of decorating. Out of six classes of 40 students, this was the only pair that actually attempted the 5-7-5 syllable pattern in English. Actually, their poem follows a 5-5-7 pattern, but it’s really close.

1年生のAnimal Haiku
I really like the line, “In the middle of the night, light sparkle”

1年生のAnimal Haiku
Oh! I was shocked at this one. A little morbid!

1年生のAnimal Haiku
I thought this one was particularly interesting. I thought “counting sheep” was a Western idea, but I didn’t know that the Japanese do it too.

1年生のAnimal Haiku

1年生のAnimal Haiku

1年生のAnimal Haiku

The last time I did a haiku lesson was just at the end of summer vacation with last year’s 3rd-year students. They graduated several months ago, so I think it’s finally time to retire the poster and replace it with some fresh work. So my mini summer project will be to narrow down my favorites even further and make a new poster to hang up in my classroom for decoration.

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