Haiku is an ancient form of poetry that originated in Japan and remains popular today.

Much like a snapshot, a haiku poem captures a moment in time. The main focus is usually a feeling or description. Traditional Japanese haiku typically describe nature, while English haiku include many different subjects.

A haiku contains 17 syllables in three lines of poetry. The first line contains five syllables, the second line features seven syllables and the third line returns to five syllables. Unlike many other forms of poetry, haiku poems do not rhyme.

Exploring the unique form of haiku can be a great way to introduce budding writers to the world of poetry. The poems are short, simple and focus on one idea, item or moment in time.


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    • Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis today, Billy! Haiku actually originated in Japan. :-)

      Here’s a haiku just for you (we hope you like it!):

      Hello there, Billy!
      Thanks for visiting today!
      Stop by again soon! :-)

  1. In my classromm we were studying poems and we had to right a Haiku, a Haiku is a 3 line poem 1st line with 5 syllables, 2 line with 7 syllables, and 3rd line with 5 syllables.

    • That’s GREAT, Kailee! Thanks for sharing this with everyone today! Would you share the haiku you wrote with us? :-)

  2. Class 3M from JFK wants to guess the objects hidden behind the Haikus. We think the 1st one is pizza, the second is a rooster, the third is a pineapple and the last is a seahorse.

    • Guess what, Class 3M? You guys are CORRECT! Way to go! We really appreciate you guys using your Wonder brains to think about the “haiku clues” and then sharing your AWESOME guesses with us! We hope it is a WONDERful day at JFK! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing your guesses for the mystery haikus, Wonder Girl! We like them a lot! We hadn’t thought about cheese sticks for the first one (we were thinking pizza), but mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce are Italian, too! Way to go! :-)

    • Hi, Wonder Girl! Thanks for checking back for some more WONDER fun! Here are a few more mystery haikus for you:

      Oodles of noodles
      Swimming in some tasty sauce
      Topped with Parmesan

      Color is blooming
      Springtime Wonder Friends visit
      Sprouting from the ground

      Found along the beach
      Pick up to hear the ocean
      Sold by the girl, “She”

      Happy WONDERing! :-)

    • You’re welcome, Wonder Girl! You got them all correct! Way to go and THANKS so much for checking back for even MORE Wonderopolis mystery haiku fun! :-)

    • We’re so happy to have Wonder Friends like you, Wonder Girl! Thanks for making our smiles a little wider today! :-)

  3. A haiku is a really cool thing. Here is one.

    He went to the store,
    To buy some Cheetos for Mom,
    She loved her Cheetos.

    • ALRIGHT, we are super excited that our Wonder Friends SOLE GROUP-AES shared an awesome haiku with us! Thank you!

      We had a great time WONDERing about haikus with you today, and now we’re off to find some Cheetos! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Do all poems rhyme?
  • What is a haiku?
  • Can anyone be a poet?

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Try It Out

A fun way to explore haiku with your children is to write “mystery clue” haiku. These haiku act like a riddle.

Tell your children to select an object — perhaps an animal or food — and create a haiku describing (but not revealing) their inspiration object. Children can take turns exchanging “mystery clue” haiku and guessing what each one describes.

Wonderopolis has whipped up a few examples of our own. Can you guess what objects are hiding behind our haiku?

Post your best guess in the comments section below. And when you complete your own mystery haiku, come back and share them at Wonderopolis, so others can try to solve your mystery, too.

I’m covered in cheese.
I came here from Italy.
A slice of heaven.


I am the first up
early mornings on the farm.


Spiky green hairdo,
I grew up in Hawaii
with sweet yellow rings.


I live in the sea.
I’d be the smallest pony!
Not all horses trot.


Still Wondering

If you want more practice writing haiku, check out ReadWriteThink.org’s activity on writing haiku to celebrate the changing seasons.


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