Haiku poem and drawing

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Beavers / cubs will learn how to write a Haiku poem. They will then discover how to make an ink painting to illustrate their poem.


Haiku poems
Slide or poster of a Japanese brush painting (optional).
White construction or other heavy paper
Higgins Black ink with dropper
Brush and water jar (optional)
Pink tissue paper (optional)


Tell beavers about HAIKU poetry and read some old and new examples.
Structure of Japanese 17th century Haiku poems:

Have 3 lines (in classical structure the first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7 syllables, the last has 5 again, but that doesn't necessarily work in English, because the English language doesn't have as many words to describe the same things as the Japanese language does.)
Refer to nature
Use ordinary things to talk about significant issues like finding happiness in the beauty of nature, dying, falling in love, being left alone, not having friends, etc.
Can be happy, sad, humorous, frightening, a puzzle etc.

The mighty Eagle
Catches prey with talons bare
Listen to the squish

Night and silver moon
Neighbor playing on his flute
Very out of tune

Green and speckled legs,
Hop on logs and lily pads
Splash in cool water.

In a pouch I grow,
On a southern continent --
Strange creatures I know.

Winter rainy day
Playing in the big puddles
Water everywhere

Have beaver write a haiku poem. Check it for nature references and correct form.
Have beaver neatly write the poem on the top left corner of the white paper.
Drop a few (just need a tiny bit) drops of black ink on the paper (not on the poem part).
With a straw, blow the ink around. If you get close you can move it all over the page to get branch-like shapes and little spidery shapes. If you blow hard, you get splat shapes.
For cubs, you can add "raindrops" by dipping a brush in ink, then putting it in water to dilute the ink, then holding the brush over the paper and tapping the brush lightly to make drops.
For beavers, you can add "flowers" to the branches by gluing bits of crumpled pink tissue paper to the branches of the dried painting.
Mount on large black paper to make a border around the painting.


  • japanese
  • Poem
  • Poetry

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  • Creative - Imagination
  • International - Learn