← Back to Activity Ideas

Day 8: Writing nature haiku and a nature riddle

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust
March 26, 2020

Outdoor activity ideas and inspiration

From mid-March to the end of May 2020, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) posted a simple outdoor activity idea and nature riddle for kids every weekday. Some days we also posted other resources, like downloadable chapters of the Junior Ranger Activity Book.

Created to support parents who found themselves homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, these activity ideas are a great jumping off point for any outdoor adventure. Click here for a list with links to all 50 activity ideas.

Nature riddle

This animal travels long distances to large, communal dens used for hibernation. These “hibernacula” may contain hundreds or thousands of individuals. You might cringe when you find out what kind of animal this is.  Click here for the answer and to read more about this interesting creature.

Writing nature haiku

on a bare branch
a crow lands
autumn dusk

By Jane Reichhold

Haiku is a form of short Japanese poetry that often captures a moment in time in nature. These poems are fun to write and they encourage us to slow down and observe the world around us.

Often haiku is written in three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third line. But don’t let counting syllables get in the way of your creativity.

For kids, I encourage you to read a few samples and encourage them to observe nature and write about what they see. Here are a few that my eight-year-old daughter wrote today.

Sophie writing haiku (Julia McLeod photo)

branches grabbing
grabbing the clouds

covered in a winter blanket

beautiful trees
growing and falling

(And this one about our dog)
I’m going to get it
must dig

In Jane Reichhold’s excellent book, Writing and Enjoying Haiku, she lists 24 techniques for writing haiku. I’ve listed a few of them below to get your ideas flowing.

  1. Comparison
  2. Riddle
  3. Narrowing focus
  4. Metaphor
  5. Sketch (paint a picture)
  6. Pun
  7. Nostalgia
  8. Mystery
  9. Improbable world
  10. Humor

Why not give haiku a try?

Sophie’s haiku