Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Create Your Own Illustrated Haiku

Objective: Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry made of three lines (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) that is commonly a meditation on nature. Make an image using colorful paper and ink, and then write a haiku inspired by your creation.

Standards (California)

VPA/VA k.1.3: Identify the elements of art (line, color, shape/form, texture, value, space) in the environment and in works of art, emphasizing line, color, and shape/form.
VPA/VA k.2.3: Make a collage with cut or torn paper shapes/forms.
VPA/VA 3.5.2:  Write a poem or story inspired by their own works of art.


Straws (one per child
Bendable straws preferable)
Black poster ink (you can dilute with water)
Paint brush
Colored Tissue Paper
White Glue


  1. With a brush, dab a nickle size drop of ink on one half of an 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of paper.
  2. Place a straw tip at the edge of the ink drop. Holding the staw at low angle to the paper and blow a few times from different directions to create a branching effect.
  3. Dry ink with a dryer.
  4. Examine your image. What does it remind you of that you might find in nature? Using small amounts of white glue, add bits of torn colored tissue paper to make your blot look more like what you imagine it to be. Torn tissue paper makes nice leaves, clouds, flowers insects and water.
  5. On a seperate sheet of paper write a haiku about the picture. The poem is three lines:  The first line is 5 syllables. The second line is 7 syllables. The third line is 5 syllables.
  6. Glue the poem onto a blank area of painting.
  7. Congratulations! You have completed your very own haiku.