"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Poetry: Haiku Style

      We have been diving into a unit on poetry for the last few weeks.  Poetry is not really their favourite genre but we've been having fun anyway!   I've started out the day with some simple readings from various sources: The Real Mother Goose, Poems and Prayers for the Very Young, Favorite Poems Old and New and Painless Poetry.  We've talked about different styles of poetry, and they have been making up their own poems.  The limericks, especially, have mesmerized them!

      This morning the kids were reading some Haiku (a simple form of Japanese Poetry, three lines; 1st line - 5 syllables, 2nd line - 7 and 3rd line 5 again). A Haiku poem usually talks about some aspect of nature, containing a clue about the change of nature and may also contain a surprise ending.  The assignment was to create a Haiku of their own.  I read out the assignment to them and then went to answer an email.  I chuckled at a part of the mail and the kids asked me what was funny.  I told them there was a squirrel in a friends backyard yelling loudly about something and she wondered if someone had taken its stash of food. The kids thought that was funny and decided it was Haiku worthy.  So they set about to make up their own Haiku about the squirrel in her backyard.  I really thought that was fantastic and great timing!  :) It ended up being Heather's Language Arts and copy work combined for the morning. She copied her Haiku in to her common place notebook. I joined in the fun and made one of my own.  I put it into my poetry notebook.   I wrote back to my friend giving her Heather's Haiku, she copied it into her commonplace notebook as well, much to Heather's delight!  I just thought this whole thing was so cool, and completely spur of the moment - non-teacher directed!!!  LOVE those moments, when the child takes the initiative and leads the learning.

Heather's Haiku:

Oh Poor Squirrel

Oh Squirrel, oh poor squirrel;
Oh who stole your nuts today?
Now you yell for them!

The Sassy Squirrel

Stash of winter nuts!
Who has stolen all of them?
Bring them back at once!

Our common place notebook entries:

      They enjoyed all the limericks we read today.  This one had them in stitches:

There was a young lady of Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger,
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the tiger.

      They practised it over and over again, using the inflection of their voices to communicate the spirit of the limerick.  The best part was that they were so engaged with the readings that it became fun and they were naturally enjoying poetry the way it was meant to be enjoyed.  It was a great morning!

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