Kids Cafe: Haikus, Acrostic Poetry, and Origami

I’m glad that the kids are about to go back to school. Cue music. The amount of people is starting to slow down again, though the noise volume never seems to. Oh well, can’t have everything. We are already starting to plan for Fall programming, and I’m getting pretty excited about a tween book club (yet to be named) that I hope to be doing once a month. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about when I say tweens, it is basically between the ages of 8-12, some people say between age 8-14 or 4th-8th grades. We’ve previously tried a teen book club, which didn’t work out, so I’m hoping this one will have more interest. I’m psyched about the books too, as the first three I’ve picked are all ones I’ve read before and loved.

Kids Cafes during the month of April this year were a little sparse. I had wanted to do a whole month on poetry for National Poetry month, but after the first two kinda fell flat, I did other things the rest of the month. It sucks because not only do I love creating my own poetry, especially haikus, but I love sharing it as well. I even composed examples of the different kinds of haikus and one of the Acrostic poem, which was a bit harder than it looked. Thankfully, the kids loved the origami, so we ended up doing that the first two weeks. I used to do origami when I was a kid, but I can no longer do the really complicated stuff like swans or a kangaroo, so I picked easy ones. My favorites were the owl and the fortune teller.

KC Haikus and Origami – April 1

  • A haiku is an unrhymed three-line poem, and is a traditional Japanese poetic form. There are different ways to write haikus, but in English, it is traditionally done with the first and last lines with five syllables each, and the middle line with seven syllables. In other words, the pattern of syllables looks like this:

Line 1: 5 syllables
Line 2: 7 syllables
Line 3: 5 syllables

Here’s another way to visualize the same thing:

1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 2 3 4 5

  • Most often, haiku poems are about seasons or nature, though you can write your own haiku about anything you like.
  • One more thing to keep in mind is that the last line of a haiku usually makes an observation. That is, the third line points out something about the subject you are writing about.
  • Seasonal Haikus
    • Let’s say that you decide to write your haiku about a season. First you will want to select a season: spring, summer, fall, or winter.
    • Ex. Spring

A brief moment of

time, in Spring here we see the

trees and flowers bloom.

  • Nature Haikus
    • If you decide to write a haiku about nature, you will have many more subjects to choose from. You could write about animals, plants, the sky, the ocean, streams, the wind, and so on. Start by selecting a topic, and then decide what you want to say; what observation you want to make about it.
    • Ex. My Dog

My dog is crazy

and barks all day long.

We still love her though.

  • Funny Haiku
    • Just because most haiku poems are about seasons or nature doesn’t mean that’s all they can be about. If you want, you can even write funny haiku poems. One way to make a haiku funny is to have anunexpected last line. For example, if the last line says the opposite of what the reader expects, it becomes like the punchline of a joke. It also helps to write about a funny subject.
    • Ex. Falling Down

I am such a clutz, I

am always falling down. Look,

I did it again!

My son has no toys

or so he tells me all the

time, our dog eats them.

  • Bring my copy of Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein to share
  • Activity: Easy Origami (make our own Origami paper – out of 6” x 6” square colored copy paper)
    • Cat, Dog, Fox or Owl (from various online sources)
    • Cat Origami
    • Dog Origami
    • Owl Oriami
    • Fox Origami
  • KC – Origami and Acrostic Poems – April 10th
    • 1st Activity: Origami (Fortune Teller and Cat/Dog/Owl/Rabbit Origami)
    • 2nd Activity: Acrostic Poems
      • To begin with, an acrostic is a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase. The word or phrase can be a name, a thing, or whatever you like. When children write acrostics, they will often use their own first name, or sometimes the first name of a friend.
      • Usually, the first letter of each line is capitalized. This makes it easier to see the word spelled out vertically down the page.
      • Acrostics are easy to write because they don’t need to rhyme, and you don’t need to worry about the rhythm of the lines. Each line can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
      • Decide what to write about.
      • Write your word down vertically.
      • Brainstorm words or phrases that describe your idea.
      • Place your brainstormed words or phrases on the lines that begin with the same letters.
      • Fill in the rest of the lines to create a poem.
    • Now let me show you how to follow these steps.
      • The first step is to decide what you would like to write an acrostic poem about. I recommend you start by writing an acrostic based on your name or on your favorite thing, whatever that happens to be. It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing is soccer, video games, chocolate, music, pizza, movies, or anything else.
    • His Examples

    Ice Cream

    I love every flavor.
    Cookies & Cream.
    English Toffee.

    Chocolate Chip.
    Rocky Road.
    Even Strawberry and
    Almond Fudge.

    • Homework

    Hard to do and sometimes
    My teacher gives us homework
    Every single day!
    Writing for hours
    Reading for hours.
    Kids need a break!

    Taken from:

    • My name example

    Rapacious reader, she’s an

    Art historian and loves sharing art with others.

    Crafting scarves is one of

    Her pastimes.

    Every day she is a

    Librarian, even when not at work.


One thought on “Kids Cafe: Haikus, Acrostic Poetry, and Origami

  1. […] to be in charge of a Tween Book Club, which I discussed previously a bit in the first paragraph here. It has finally been named Page Turners. We will be reading Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne […]


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