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Do You Haiku?

wford Posted by wford in Reading & Language Arts on Oct 8, 2013 4:31:07 PM

A few weeks back I posted a little teaser about an up-coming product from


Poetry trio

Needs a new companion app

Details forthcoming


I'll note that no one took a stab at guessing what the product might be, so no one gets the really cool prize for guessing it correctly.


"But you never said anything about a prize!" you might say.


"I'm whimsical like that," I would reply.


The poetry trio mentioned in my little poem are the current interactives already available on ReadWriteThink--and soon to be available on your iPad or Android tablet:

  1. Acrostic
  2. Diamante
  3. Theme


The new companion app, that would be Haiku.


Maybe I shouldn't be showing off the concept art...but I'm going to show you the current concept art for the load screen! Cause I'm excited about it and that's what this blog is for, revealing cool things like that. Please note that as concept art, the final app design might look nothing like this, and we cannot vouch for the correctness of the characters used in the image--though we are pretty sure they say "haiku." Anyone out there who can officially vouch that for us?




The real difficulty of the project is teaching the haiku writing process. We want to make sure that the app provides solid haiku writing instruction, not to take it out of the teacher's hands but to make sure students have all the scaffolding they need when it comes time to do the writing. A refresher on what the teacher modeled in the classroom couldn't hurt, right?


But how do you teach haiku writing? That sounds rhetorical, but it isn't. I'm asking: If you have ever taught haiku writing, what did you do? What did you teach? How did you frame the lesson? I've been doing research, and I found fun little inconsistencies like the follow:


  • Traditional haiku are themed around nature or philosophy...but that's not a requirement.
  • Traditional haiku have a juxtaposition statement...but not always.
  • American haiku have three lines...but they don't need to.
  • American haiku follow a 5-7-5 syllable count for the lines...but not all of them.


From my research, haiku writing is fairly free form--not at all what I was expecting when I first delved into the project.


I don't want to write How to Haiku instructions in the app and find them counter to what teachers are teaching in the classroom. I don't want to create an interactive and app that promote a rigid conformity to a three line, 5-7-5 syllable paradigm if that isn't what teachers are modeling.


Just to note, our Haiku app won't force the writer to use three lines (though it will only have three lines available), nor will it enforce a syllable count--in fact, it won't count syllables at all. We leave such checking and correction up to the user. The app can be used to write free-form poetry. But what should the instruction model?


If you have any information about how haiku writing is currently taught in the classroom or how you'd like to see it presented in this product, let me know.


Or to put it another way:


Seeking some experts

On proper haiku techniques

--Wes doesn't have a clue




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