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Haiku and Limerick


In this activity students will synthesize information about a character and then write a haiku or limerick. The purpose of this activity is for students to summarize a character and then analyze, evaluate, or reflect on that character. The haiku or limerick is a synthesis of the chosen character.


Melissa Slater

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Synthesizing

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Synthesis

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Learning Strands 

  • Reading
  • Writing


  • Read a fiction or non-fiction text.
  • Select or create sample haikus or limericks to share with students.
  • Create guidelines for giving and receiving feedback.
  • Create a rubric
Activity Steps 
  1. Introduce Haiku and Limerick.

    Reinforce with students that the purpose of the haiku orlimerick in this activity isto synthesize what they know about a character from the text.

  2. Share sample haikus and limericks.

    Share sample haikus and limericks. Discuss with students the elements of each and how they are similar and different.

  3. Write personal haiku or limerick.

    As a practice, have students write a haiku or limerick based on themselves. Students can share with others in a small group or the teacher can select a few to share with the class.

  4. Conduct mini-lesson on character analysis and synthesis.

    Review with students tips for analyzing a character and the difference between summarizing and synthesizing.

  5. Perform pre-writing planning.

    Students should take time to think about their character. This can be done using a predetermined graphic organizer or it can be a less structured thought process for students. The purpose of the pre-writing planning is for students to analyze their character.

  6. Write haiku or limerick draft.
  7. Obtain peer feedback or do self-assessment.

    Students can either work in pairs to give and receive feedback or they can do a self-assessment of their work using a rubric.

  8. Write final haiku or limerick with revisions based on the feedback.
  9. Share haikus or limericks.

    Student share-out could include a class reading, a gallery walk, or an online posting.

  10. Reflect.

    Reflection questions could include: · How does your haiku or limerick reflect the character from the text? · What is thebest line in your writing? Why do you think that line is the best? · How did writing the poem help you understand the text/character more deeply?

Downloadable Resources 
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