My 7th graders are currently studying poetry. Two of the types of poems they learn bout and have the funnest time with are haiku and limericks.
For limericks, we read a few examples I find on the internet so they can get the pattern down. Sometimes, they think the poem is funny, sometimes, they just think it’s dumb. I make sure to explain to them that the point is that it is lighthearted.
One of my absolute favorite ways to teach haiku is this:
1) Show them classical-style haiku (English haiku that have the 5-7-5 pattern–in 8th grade they learn that the when the original Japanese is translated into English, the syllables get lost)
2) Discuss the themes–describing nature, but a theme/moral of life in the undertone
3) Tell them, nowadays, haiku aren’t always about nature, but the form is the most important part.
4) Prove my point by showing them this clip from one of my favorite cartoons:
I make my students write their own haiku and limerick. I tell them the limerick has to make me laugh and rhyme properly, and I will be counting their syllables on their haiku. If they don’t succeed, they’ll be thrown out, just like Sokka from the video.
Here are some golden nuggets from their poems: