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Language Arts Lesson Plan for Upper Grades


Submitted by: Cindy Funkhouser, a student at the University of Florida.

Grade/Subject Area:

GR. 4-6 - Language Arts


Students write two haiku poems in appropriate form. Writing haiku allows students to practice in the skills of dividing words into syllables, counting syllables, and searching for words to fit a structure.


Teacher Materials:
  • poetry books
  • flip chart or board
  • marker
Student Materials:
  • dictionaries
  • pencils
  • paper

Lesson Plan:

  1. Introduce or review the word "syllable." Practice dividing words into syllables on the board or a flip chart. Ask students to volunteer "big words." Chant and tap out syllables as rhythmic beats and refer to them as "beats" when dividing each word. Model dividing two words. Have students divide five more words into syllables as a group. Then ask them to divide three on their own and check their work.
  2. Introduce haiku as a form of Japanese poetry about one aspect of nature in which each line contains a set number of syllables.
  3. Show chart of haiku form.

    5 syllables

    7 syllables

    5 syllables

  4. Read aloud haiku poems from a book (find books at the library by the authors Atwood, Lewis, and/or Behn). Point out how each poem only talks about one single thing in nature. Sometimes an object of nature may show human qualities in the haiku poems, such as a plant's thinking.
  5. Have the class divide the lines from a haiku poem into syllables on the board or flip chart. Chant each line and tap out as "beats" before dividing each line.

    Blade/ of/ grass/ with/ dew

    Glit/ ter/ ing/ / in/ the/ sun/

    Dream/ ing/ si/ lent/ ly

  6. Have students write a poem as a class collaboration. Write the class poem on the board or flip chart. Chant and tap out beats in each line as you read the poem aloud as a group.
  7. Show students how to use the dictionary as a reference for syllables when they are unsure of counts in words. Allow students access to books of haiku poetry and dictionaries during writing.
  8. Ask students to write two haiku poems independently.
  9. Students edit poems.

    Extension: Students may illustrate the poems.

Lesson © Cindy Funkhouser

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