Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry consisting of seventeen syllables in three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second has seven, and the third returns to five syllables. Traditionally, they also have some reference to the seasons and nature, but many times this requirement is ignored in English-language haiku. Here's one from a Threadless.com t-shirt that I can't seem to get out of my mind. "Haikus are easy / But sometimes they don't make sense / Refrigerator."
Beatrice van de Vis is publisher and host of this haiku blog, where all poets are welcome to submit family-friendly haiku. You'll find the seasons listed in the horizontal navigation at the top of the site, along with a link to What is Haiku? "Traditionally haiku are rooted in natural history and the seasons, and make us conspirators with wildlife, as nature half-writes the haiku before we've even put pen to paper."
Haiku (.com) is another site where you can publish your own haiku. "Once you have posted at least five original haiku in your personal page, our editorial staff may contact you to publish your haiku in ?Favorites' or across selected pages of the directory." Start your exploration with Favorites, then give the Twaiku links (haiku on Twitter) a try. You'll find them in the right-hand navigation column.
"Here's a Haiku to help you remember: I am first with five / Then seven in the middle / Five again to end." The KidZone haiku section includes printable worksheets, sample haiku, and a haiku starter exercise for elementary classrooms. "Haiku poems can act almost like a riddle. Try writing a haiku poem about a certain animal but don't mention the animal's name. See if your friends can guess what you wrote about!"
The Children's Haiku Garden is a collection of illustrated poems written by kids from the states, Japan, Canada and the UK. For instructions on submitting your own haiku and artwork, click on Ryo's Message link near the middle of the home page. From Amanda, age 8, Wenatchee, WA, "In the sunny times / Picking dandelions outside / I get a bee sting."
This fun interactive refrigerator-magnet game will automatically make a haiku for you, or let you build one yourself from the word magnets in the game space. For more haiku exercises, click on the buttons to the right of the game board: Understand, Expand, and Interact. "It is no wonder that a syllable-based language like Japanese (where for example if you wanted to say the girl's name Mina backwards you would say Nami) would give us a syllable-based form of poetry."