Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: A Chorus of Faiths: A Program That Builds Interfaith Youth Leaders

Alternate Activity 1: Haiku

Activity time: 45 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Paper and pens/pencils

Preparation for Activity

  • Write a sample haiku to share with the group on newsprint, and post. Create your own haiku or use one of the samples below.

Description of Activity

Participants reflect on their interfaith service experiences by writing haiku.

Say, in your own words:

The haiku is a form of poetry that originated in Japan. It sets a mood or portrays a feeling. The haiku does not rhyme, but it does have a consistent form of seventeen syllables. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven, and the third and final line has five.

Read aloud the sample haiku you have posted. Count out the syllables for each line with your fingers as you read.


Never-ending need (5)

Hey! We can work together (7)

Gods, us, side by side (5)

Heads bent, hard at work (5)

Yarmulke, Hijab, braids, spikes (7)

A ballet of faiths (5)

Continue, in your own words:

A haiku does not tell the whole story. But it does help paint a picture or convey a feeling.

Hand out paper and pens. Invite participants to reflect on their experience at the interfaith service event, and then compose a haiku that expresses their experience.

Give participants time to compose their haiku. If they wish to write more than one, encourage them to do so. If they are still composing poems after about twenty minutes, announce five more minutes.

Invite participants to read their poems aloud. Lead the listeners to affirm each reading, for example, by clapping. Make sure each participant who wishes has read at least one poem before inviting others reading a second or third. You may wish to display the haiku or gather them into a booklet.