Teaching Poetry to Kids

I often get asked how to teach haiku to young people. As I’ve stated before, it’s my belief that the most effective way is to introduce them to poetry that they can relate to.
Happy Haiku (shortlisted for the American Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Books Award) is a valuable teaching tool for early childhood and junior grade teachers, as the poems are about family love and happy stories about nature.
When I learned that haiku poets were using it as a teaching tool for older kids, I decided to write a poetry book for kids from grades 6-12, which is now available. As editor and poet Michael Rehling stated in the foreword for What We All Want to Say, poetry for grades 6-12, “For better or worse we carry with us all of the experiences in our life. They are though much less of a burden if they are in the form of a poem. Haiku are short poems that are small reminders of the larger issues in life.”
This is an example of one of the contemporary haiku poems you will find that kids in middle grade or high school may be able to relate to. Remember, haiku is meant to be read slowly, and often twice.

after school
all the activities
I never chose

Happy Haiku and What We All Want to Say, poetry for grades 6-12, are available for purchase on the Books page of this website. Hopefully the poems in these books will inspire the young people in your life to try their own. And maybe you will, too!

Quote: “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath

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