Haiku Examples for Teaching Poetry in Upper Elementary

English speaking countries have only recently embraced haiku, but this form of poetry has been around for a long time in Japan.

Matsuo Basho, who lived in the 1600s, is one of the most well known masters of haiku, which was called hokku during his time.  His haiku about a frog jumping into a pond is his most famous poem, and it has been translated into English in many different ways.

Some of the beauty and simplicity of Japanese haiku gets lost in translation. And the 5-7-5  pattern using Japanese sound units called mora do not translate perfectly into our use of syllables.

Have students use this famous frog poem as inspiration, and rewrite it so it follows the 5-7-5 syllable pattern in English.

You can find other translations of this poem here if students need a little more inspiration – most of them do not follow the 5-7-5 pattern.