Background: Haiku is a Japanese-origin form of poetry that captures moments in a very small space and leaves room for imagination. Basic form is the following:  three phrases, 17 syllables, structure: 5-7-5 (short, long, short). There are no rhymes in haiku. Haikus are simple, minimalistic, symbolic, and they focus on nature, perceptions, senses, emotions. Haikus are often grouped in relation to seasons.

Image: Margrét Seema Takyar

Instructions for a haiku reflective work may be the following:

  • Choose a significant moment that you remember well from the past year/course/workshop.
  • List elements of this moment, for example: 
    • Place, time of day, season. 
    • You may focus on questions such as: what did you notice, perceive, what did you do, what did you think, or what did you feel? 
  • Create your own haiku from these elements. You do not have to follow the formal structure, but it might help. 
  • Your haiku does not need to tell everything, and the reader does not have to understand its meaning literally.  

Sharing your haiku (three options):

  • Write your haiku down and show it in written form (chat, ppt, handwritten, etc*) 
  • Read your haiku to others aloud, or ask someone to read it  
  • You may combine these, or keep your haiku to yourself  

*Note: this reflection took place in Zoom, in May 2021. It was part of a reflection session that covered the whole academic year. 


  • To crystallize a meaningful memory and share it in a multimodal, symbolic form

Who for:

  • Art students at university level
  • May be applied with younger students in any subject


  • About 45-60 minutes, depending on the group size

 Proposed by Eeva Anttila, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland.