Lesson: Haiku Inspired Creative Movement

Using the beautiful and spare language of haiku as a model, students create movement compositions that become a “score” for instrumental pieces. This lesson is suggested for upper elementary or middle school students who are mature enough to grasp the intent of haiku: to express a big (and sometimes emotional) experience in a very few words. The lesson includes background information on traditional haiku and a follow-up opportunity to write haiku inspired by this aesthetic experience.

“I once did this lesson with a group of 7th grade students with no prior experience in creative movement. It was delightful to observe how eagerly they embraced the dance portion of the lesson, and how this experience with movement opened the door to composing truly beautiful music…another new experience for them. The haiku they wrote at the end of the activity are still treasured possessions!”
– Marjie Van Gunten

Download lesson here: Inspired by Haiku

About Marjie Van Gunten

Marjie Van Gunten

Marjie Van Gunten retired after 40 years of teaching music from early childhood through college level and is currently the AOSA Communications Coordinator. She has served on The Orff Echo editorial board, presents workshops on composition and improvisation and leads summer institutes on arts integration. Her training includes bachelor and masters degrees in music and post-Level III Orff Schulwerk training.


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