Pick up a child-friendly Haiku collection like If Not for the Cat or Cricket Never Does to introduce your child to the art and science of Haiku and Tanka. Talk about the structure of Haiku (5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, 5 syllables in the third line) and Tanka (a Haiku plus two additional 7 syllable lines) and how their beauty is in the preciseness of their respective forms…and how you need to choose your words wisely to make it work. Have your child try writing their own haikus and tankas about favorite activities, places or people.

Extra Credit: If s/he took to the initial activity, have your child try a cinquain next (2 syllables in line 1, 4 syllables in line 2, 6 syllables in line 3, 8 syllables in line 4, 2 syllables in line 5).

Enhances linguistic intelligence through poetry and a logical/mathematical lens.

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Haiku and Tanka