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Earthday Haiku WebFest 2012 - Join In!

NOTE! Kids Count for Earthday Haiku Contest Has changed to the Earthday Haiku Webfest 2012

*This year we decided to do something a bit different! Instead of holding submissions, we are allowing teachers, parents and students to post their posme via the Kids Count For Earthday Facebook Page, For all contestants to read.

This years sponsors of The Haiku Webfest are:earthday haiku

  • Haiku Society of America
  • With Words UK
  • Sketchbook Short Verse Journal

This Webfest is designed to combine the love of Earth with the sheer simple fun of writing Japanese haiku in English!

We call it the The 2012 "Kids Count for Earthday" Haiku Webfest because we want you to help all of us to learn how to keep the planet clean and healthy!

Sharing the love of EARTH , ART and POETRY!

Show the world you are a Planetpal!

Kids will only need to count approximately 5-7-5 or use some combination of short, long, short syllables, to create their Earthday haiku.

The 5,7,5 count isn't mandatory but the rhythm of short, long, short is important. Also make sure that your haiku is a complete thought, using articles wherever necessary for a smooth flow.

Suggestions and links for writing haiku are listed further below (after the Haiku Society of America, Planet Pals, With Words, and Sketchbook logos).

Enjoy the challenge of writing modern haiku!

Best of luck!


Earthday Haiku Webfest

The contest theme is "What Earthday means to you".

Who Can Enter:
Children and young people aged from 7 years old right up to 20 years from the USA, UK and English Speaking Countries (including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii; as well as Japan; Africa; India; Pakistan; Bangladesh; China; Middle East; and Australia; New Zealand and all other countries). If English is not your first language please do add an English language version of your haiku entry as well.

Age Groups: 7-20 yrs old

PLEASE NOTE: This year all poems will appear on this FACEBOOK PAGE. Only Entries and no other posts are allowed on this page! Duplicate and unrelated posting will be removed.


  • Do not email entries!
    You must post:
  • Name
  • You must post the entries here
    *Must be posted by parents (for under age children) or teachers as a classroom list

For more information on Haiku Poetry go to the following pages:

For more detailed info:

Best of luck!

Entries must be e-mailed to:
Learn more about Haiku and Earthday:

Links to learning and teaching haiku to students:
Teaching Haiku Website
WHC Haiku in Education Website
Hotchalk Haiku Poetry Lessons Plans

Learn more about Earthday:planetpals earthday journal
The Story of Earth Day
Earth Day Pledge
Energy Page
Planetpals Recycle Center
Home Safety Page
Learn to PREcycle
The Earth
Earth Fast Facts
Hazardous Materials
Global Warming
Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition

The Planetpals Story
Meet Planetpals Characters
Earthzine Magazine

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2011 Contest Results!

The Results of the Earth Day Children's Haiku Competition are listed below:

All 2011 entries will be published on Sketchbook Haiku Jounal

Judges commentary

An excellent turn out of haiku!

Our main criteria was good writing which captured the haiku spirit. Not all the entries were necessarily 5-7-5, and as this was only a guideline, you will find the occasional exception.

A big thank you to all who entered, we enjoyed over 250 entries from various countries.

*All haiku comments below kindly written by an'ya, Haiku Society of America Judge

Overall First Choice:

The overall winner for 2011 is Amy Claire Rose Smith (13) from Darlington, County Durham, UK for this wonderful haiku poem:

Earth Day dusk --
falling all around me
blackbird song

This year we've included the haiga (haiku plus art) entries
earthday haiku haiga
See the "haiga" entries

7-9 years old

First Choice:

the water is smooth
a bird dips down, and away
ripples on the water

Katy Smith
Fourth Grade,
Barrington, IL USA, Teacher:
Michelle Pezzuto

Comment: This haiku by Katy Smith still adheres to the 5,7,5 format we were originally taught in our various school systems (which is fine) although nowadays many haiku poets are using just a short, long, short
count since the Japanese sound syllables differ in length from English syllables. Having said this, Katy's haiku moment is as smoothly written as
her first line "the water is smooth" which opens the moment with a "wide
setting", and then in line two she zeros or zooms in on a bird dipping down,
then she takes that bird away and all that is left in line three, are
"ripples on the water." A very good use of "showing" us this moment rather
than "telling" us what to think about it. Well done!

Second Choice:

spring meadow
a single honey bee
sips nectar

Philip Painting (age 9) (single entry)

Comment: In this haiku by Philip, we are visually
transported to the wide setting of a "spring meadow" full of flowers, and
yet in line two we are given "a single bee"perhaps going from flower to flower throughout the meadow to "sip nectar." Nicely written with fine juxtaposition and
continuity throughout all three lines. Thanks to this author for sharing his moment.

Third Choice

waterfalls falling
right over the mountainside
straight into a lake

Ben, 4th Grade
Teacher: Liana Williams, Pacific Palisades, CA USA

Comment: Here we have a very good visual haiku by Ben of literally what a mountainside waterfall does, it falls from the top, right over the mountainside and straight into the lake. If we concentrate on writing exactly what we see in nature, the haiku will almost always come out good. Too often poets try to put too much into the moment and add poetic
devices to enhance the image. Ben shows us that it isn't necessary and we
should just accept each moment as a gift and leave it the way nature made it.

10 -12 yrs old

First Choice:

between trees
the moon rises
to let the light out

Camden Smith (12) (single entry)
Keyser Primary-Middle School, USA

Comment: A fine haiku example written by Camden with
well-thought out word choices. It is interesting where this author chose to
break line 2 but because we all pause differently when we speak, another
author might have chosen to place the words "to let" at the end of line 2,
however in this haiku, I believe that Camden's version works very

Second Choice:

rivers and oceans
with salmon going upstream
through the passages

Kristina Horchover, 6th Grade
Teacher: Scott Woodworth, The Out of Door Academy, Sarasota, Florida, USA

Comment: A lovely haiku with an especially unique third
line. We all know about salmon going upstream and we all know about rivers
and oceans, but saying "through the passages" leaves Kristina's haiku
open-ended so that each reader is free to imagine all sort of different
passages. be it in between rocks, over the falls, even time a passage of
time. etc. Keep up the good work!

Third Choice:

sun shows behind clouds.
shimmering rainbow appears -
river sweeps image away

Carl Mann (12) 7th grade
Kensington CT, USA
Teacher: Elaine Kotler, Saint Paul School

Comment: I like this haiku by Carl for its concept of the
river sweeping the image of the rainbow away. To improve our haiku, we need
to include articles such as "a" and "the" so when the haiku is read by
others, it will be just as if we were speaking to them directly in person.
If we leave out articles, our haiku will sound choppy and not flow as
smoothly as possible. Even so, as I said Carl's haiku shows depth, attention
to detail and imagination.

13-15 yrs old

First Choice:

Earth Day dusk --
falling all around me
blackbird song

Amy Claire Rose Smith (13) (single entry)
Darlington, County Durham, UK

Comment: This particular haiku by Amy is absolutely
stunning! and is what's known in the world of old-time haiku writers as a
"wish-I-had-written-that-one-myself." Albeit, I would humbly recommend
removing the emdash after line one in order to allow her haiku to pivot. For
instance it can be read two ways like so: "Earth Day dusk falling all around
me" and then "falling all around me blackbird song." - a natural pivot in
any haiku is desirable. The use of "d" sounds in line one is commendable, as
well as the "l" sounds in line two carried over with the word "blackbird"
in line three. I cannot overly stress the perfection of this write!

Second Choice:

the soft trill of birds
through the trees, straight to my ears
I listen to its claim

Michele H, 8th Grade
Teacher: Jane Scott, Kilo Middle School, Auburn, WA

Comment: An intriguing haiku by Michele insofar as its 3rd
line especially. Normally personal opinion or putting "self" into a haiku is
to be avoided, however this author manages to include "I" in a way that is
acceptable because of her use of one of the five senses (sound) via the
word "listen." Also direct personification which is giving human
characteristics to something in nature is not acceptable, but here again,
Michele manages to subtly include the "soft trill of birds" as a claim which
is subtle enough not to personify the birds. Excellent work Michelle.

Third Choice:

rolling in the grass.
rolling over little ants -
then helping them up.

Dallas Kaufman (14), 8th grade
Teacher: Elaine Kotler, Saint Paul School, Kensington CT, USA

Comment: This haiku by Dallas reminds me of Issa (one of
the old masters.) Issa wrote about the little things that are important in
our lives and how to treat other creatures with kindness and respect -and
many of his haiku were also written about insects. The empathy of this
moment has "beauty of thought" which is often included in mainstream poetry
and not nearly enough in our haiku, so kudos to you Dallas for sharing the
tenderness of this moment with us, a fine example for Earth Day, which we
should all heed.

16-18 yrs old

First Choice:

dark clouds-
he cuts out an akala
from an old tyre

James Bundi (17)
* James is the outgoing chairman of the Bambochaas Haiku Club
Bahati c.c Secondary School, Nairobi, Kenya, Africa

Comment: Quite a fine haiku by James that links
man and nature together nicely for this Earth Day Contest. If there had been
more haiku submitted in this age category, I still would have most likely
chosen this one. Akala (an example of a regional season word) are the tyre
sandals worn by many people in Kenya who make good use of recycling what is
already available to them. Wide setting in line one, subject and action verb
in line two and follow through in line three. A perfect example of atypical
haiku format, and in just 13 syllables and 11 words, we are walking right
there in the moment .

View Earthday Haiga (Art & Haiku)N Enties 2011

View Earthday Haiku Contest Winners 2010


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