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Kiyoshi’s Walk

A series of haiku wrapped in narrative, KIYOSHI’S WALK by Mark Karlins with illustrations by Nicole Wong is the perfect introduction to haiku and “finding” poetry in everyday situations.

After Kiyoshi asks his grandfather where poems come from, he is taken on a walk through the city to discover the answer for himself. From seeing and listening, to imagination and feelings, this story provides a succinct introduction to the heart of poetry in a subtle and heartwarming package.

My goal with using KIYOSHI’S WALK was to help my students see the world as poets do. To see the beauty and story in a simple moment without feeling the pressure to tell a detailed beginning, middle, and end. To help them shy away from complete sentences and dare I say, break the rules of grammar we have been working so hard to establish. 

Following our new learning students brainstormed and found inspiration through a series of winter-themed pictures. Idea generation had been a struggle for some of my young poet’s in previous weeks and I found that the visuals were just what some friends needed.

With a picture selected, students set to work tapping out their syllables and creating a poetic winter haiku. Finished poems were published on snowflakes and before we knew it, our bulletin board was filled with a flurry of haiku. 

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