Workshop on Kigo
Try this: Assign the group a common kigo word or phrase. It may appear anywhere in the haiku. For this example we will use “summer’s end.”
Next assign the following three “rules”:
Before the students actually start writing provide examples:
faded paper fan
on the windowsill
the foul ball lands
in an empty seat
sun-bleached sand dollars
on the deck rail
the boat lies sideways
on a mound of sand
John W. Wisdom
With the exception of one of the above haiku, all fall within the writing practice parameters. A survey of published English language haiku will more often than not reveal the same economy of words and syllables.
After students have written to the assigned kigo, have a reading of their work and a discussion about the sights, smells, sounds and activities that signal the end of summer.
Once a particular seasonal word phrase (kigo) has been explored broaden the discussion by asking students about other observations they have made or things they have experiences synonymous with the season as a whole. Again, focus on concrete images.
The following haiku were written by 8th grade students:
slips my grasp
the flutter of clothes
thrown over a chair
through a broken window
We hope this lesson is a fun addition to your program and welcome your feedback!