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Kids by the dozens are creating original Harry Potter haiku and posting them to the Web! If you are a teacher who is looking for a fun -- and educational -- activity, why not turn students' enthusiasm for all things Harry Potter into a creative writing opportunity?

A handful of years ago, Holly Hartman, kids' editor for the infoplease.com Web site, was looking for a way to involve kids with the Web site. "Harry Potter generates a lot of enthusiasm," Hartman thought at the time, and Harry Potter stuff on the site was getting lots of traffic. As she thought about ways of generating more traffic, she recalled the fun she had writing haiku as a kid.

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That night as she did laundry, Hartman pored over the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She searched for actual quotes from the dialogue that she could transform into haiku. In order to meet the qualifications, the quotes had to naturally break into lines of five syllables, seven syllables, then five syllables -- the traditional haiku form.

"Some pretty silly things [said in the context of the story] came out sounding so profound in haiku form," Hartman said. She gathered a handful of found Harry haiku and created the Harry Potter Haiku page.

Posting those haiku on the Web has motivated dozens of kids to churn out their own Hogwarts poetry!

"There's something about the form that lets kids say really expressive things," Hartman told Education World. She shared a couple of the kids' creations that can now be found on the infoplease.com site:

His hair black as night
A lightning scar tells his life
He is a legend.
-- Cherie, age 10

A powerful blast
Harry is blown off his feet
From the shadow steps ...
-- Alyssa, age 12

Hartman is thrilled with the excitement that Harry Potter haiku has generated. One kid, in an e-mail, wrote to her, "I hope you like this. It's the first poem I've ever written." She is hopeful that many teachers might use the activity in their classrooms in the waning days of the current school year.

From the Ed World Library

Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-chief
Copyright © 2006 Education World

11/05/2001
Last Updated 08/09/2006

 

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