Lesson 4: Haiku and Onomatopoeia

Getting Started

Today you will read poems focused on the Midwest and learn about a type of poem called haiku. You will also learn more about onomatopoeia and quatrain poems.

Stuff You Need

  • My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet by Judy Young
  • journal

Ideas to Think About

  • What relationships and patterns exist between words and syllables within poems?
  • Why are the relationships among words and syllables within poems important?

Things to Know

  • Haiku poems have a 5-7-5 syllable pattern within three lines.


  • Identify structural patterns found in text. (LA)
  • Select a writing focus, organizational structure, and a point of view based upon purpose, audience, and format requirements. (LA)
  • Use concrete sensory details in writing. (LA)

Introducing the Lesson

Explain to your child that she will read about poems that focus on the Midwest region of the US. Ask her what she knows about this region of the country.
Reading and Questions
Materials: My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Read the poems in the sections "The Great Lakes States" and "The Plains States" in My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States. Then answer the following questions.
  1. Which poem in these sections was your favorite? Why?
    Answers will vary.
  2. Record three interesting adjectives from the poems, along with the nouns they modify.
    Check to be sure your child's list includes three adjectives and nouns.
  3. In Lesson 1, you learned that a metaphor compares two unrelated things. What metaphor does the author make in "Kansas Boy"?
    He compares the cornfield to the sea.
  4. What did you learn about the geography and culture of the Midwest after reading these poems?
    Answers will vary.