Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: A Place of Wholeness: A Program for Youth Exploring Their Own Unitarian Universalist Faith Journeys

Alternate Activity 2: Hope Haikus

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Bouquet of fresh, dried or artificial flowers
  • Vase
  • Ribbon in multiple colors, wide enough to write on
  • Scissors
  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Paper and pens/pencils

Preparation for Activity

  • Write a sample haiku on newsprint. Next to each line, write in parentheses the number of syllables to remind participants of the form, as well as the purpose of that line.

I like fresh water (5) - set the scene

It makes me feel good inside (7) - expand on the theme

It removes my fear (5) - round it off

  • Cut the ribbon into one and a half foot-long strips.
  • Place the bouquet of flowers in a vase, with water if using fresh flowers.

Description of Activity

Participants compose haikus about hope and create a hopeful haiku flower arrangement to share with the congregation and/or decorate the meeting space. Explain what a haiku is and how to write one:

A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that does not rhyme, but follows a pattern of three lines. The pattern is:

Line 1: 5 syllables

Line 2: 7 syllables

Line 3: 5 syllables

Haiku usually are about nature and everyday things and situations, but for our purposes today the topic will be hope.

Distribute paper and pens. Tell them to begin by writing the word hope, and then listing words that come to mind that are related to hope. Then put the words into three lines. Draw the group's attention to the example posted on newsprint. Explain that the 5-syllable first line should set the scene; the 7-syllable second line should expand on the theme by expressing a feeling, making an observation, or recording an action; and the 5-syllable third line should round off the haiku. Give participants 10 minutes to work on their hope haikus. Assist as needed.

After 10 minutes, invite each person to share their haiku aloud with the rest of the group. Distribute the strands of ribbon and invite them to write their haiku on the ribbon, leaving about three inches on one end blank so that they can tie the ribbon to a flower stem. When they finish writing on the ribbons, they can tie them to the stem of a flower.

The hopeful haiku flower arrangement can be displayed for the congregation during coffee hour, or in the meeting space. If using fresh flowers, once the flowers have died you can save the ribbons and weave them together into a strand of hope.