Earlier this month I shared an idea about a writing station (aka: center) for older students. Another product from Chronicle Books has crossed my desk and has piqued my interest as something that can be used in the classroom. This time, it’s a poetry-related writing station using Haikubes, which are 63 word cubes that can be used to create Haiku poetry.
I learned, from listening to poet Billy Collins speak, that haiku is excellent for writers of any age, especially for children. According to Collins, Haiku allows kids to play with form due to it’s 5-7-5 syllable structure. However, prior to introducing a Haiku Writing Station in your classroom, it’s necessary to teach students what a Haiku is. Here are some books you can share with your students to teach them about Haiku:
- Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love by Pat Mora*
- Haiku: Asian Arts and Crafts for Creative Kids by Patricia Donegan
- How to Write Haiku and Other Short Poems by Paul Janeczko
* =There are Haikus in this book. To read more about all of the types of poems you’ll find in Mora’s book, click here.
I purposely broke a lot of Haiku “rules.” For instance, a Haiku often contains a seasonal word. Furthermore, Haiku is written in the present tense, which makes one of the Haikus I wrote a little off. In addition, a solid Haiku will usually tell the reader the what, when, and where of what’s being described. Since I was trying to capture the essence of how a child might play with the Haikubes in the classroom, I decided not to edit myself since this type of issue is something that can be conferred into/revised if a student decides to publish his/her Haiku Writing Station Poem.
If you decide to purchase a box of Haikubes for your classroom, be sure to play with them before introducing them to your students. There are a couple of cubes you might not consider age appropriate for elementary school, so you may wish to remove them from the box.
Here’s a look at my Haiku creation process using Haikubes:
I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).
I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.