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Math Haikus {AND FREEBIES}

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we have been studying different forms of poetry for the past few weeks.  My kiddos have been rocking this unit, and some have really found it to be a creative outlet, or a way to highlight their sense of humor!

Last week, I was trying to review some key geometry terms… but it wasn't going very well.  I had made some fun {at least I thought they would be} memory games for students to play, along with a interactive whiteboard activity.  Despite my efforts, my kids weren't having it.

I knew I had hit a wall when we got to the word "Quadrilateral" and one of my students started laughing… and didn't stop!  When he finally came up for air, I asked what on earth was so funny!  "I just can't get the word right!  It's sooooo long and it sounds someone is holding my tongue when I try to say it!"  The kid had a point!  It definitely is a tough one to get out.  I clapped out the syllables for them, asking them to repeat each syllable after me.  We were half way through our second attempt when a student's voice interrupted me.  'Great!  I can't even get them to sound out a word with me!' I thought.

I was ready to pull the reins on the lesson and try again another day, when I realized what my little interrupter had said.  "Quadrilateral is 5 syllables, just like the first line of a haiku!" He then started counting on his fingers as he spoke.  "It has four sides and angles."  Another student chimed in, "It's a polygon!"

What?!?  Had they really just defined a quadrilateral as a haiku?  Seriously?  Okay, how can I capitalize on this?

I had students break off into pairs, each selecting one geometry term from the board to write about.  Their poems were so wonderful, that we turned them into posters and put them up on our math wall as their reference!  Their final products are below.  You can click {HERE} if you would like a copy of them for your classroom (My students unanimously voted to share them with all of you, because they were so proud of them!)

I loved their geometry haikus, and I couldn't help but wonder how I could keep this momentum going. Given the enthusiasm and independence they showed while writing the above poems, I made the decision to make it into a math center… I wasn't sure if it would be total flop, or the best thing since Ticonderoga pencils!

I set up our Haiku Math Center in front of our math reference wall, where we hang all of our key math terms.  You can check out all of my CCSS Aligned Math Word Walls {HERE}

I placed small examples of their original haikus at the center, along with the following paper to record their poems.  Click {HERE} to download a copy for yourself!

I love being reminded that sometimes I need to listen to my students!  They can offer some amazing ideas, and they know what motivates them better than anyone :)  They have been at this new center for over a week, and I am loving the results:

No, not shoe feet!
These are made of twelve inches
We use to measure

To minus digits
You must take something away
That's how you subtract

The outside not in
Distance around a figure
That's perimeter

You can round to ten
Numbers that end with zeros
Up or down, Rounding.

Sixty minutes long
Days are 24 hours
They are a LONG time!

Repeated adding
Arrays are a visual
It makes a product

The collection grows!  If you try this in your classroom, I hope you will come back and share some of your math haikus!  Thank you for stopping by!


  1. I SERIOUSLY LOVE THIS!!! #bestteacherever

    1. Oh Hadar! Thank you friend :) I would argue that title already belongs to you!

  2. ^^ What Miss Kindergarten said! This will be a fun activity after the PARCC test this morning!


    1. Thank you Rachel! Good luck with PARCC today :( We just finished testing last week, and I am so happy to be done. I hope your kiddos enjoy the haikus today!