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Monday, April 25, 2016

Classroom Creativity Game - The Haiku Game

This post contains a link to the template you need to play this game, but you'll also want to see this post  which explains how to run these types of games with your class using Google Apps.

Many of my most popular posts on this blog are the creativity games and exercises I created and shared about four years ago. I am translating some of those into a Google Slides format, which I hope will allow more people to enjoy it.

When played as a classroom game, this game allows 3 - 5 creative students to compete to make the best haiku based on random words. The class participates by voting on their favorite. I've seen middle school and high school students have a lot of fun with these games.

I also will list a few suggestions at the end of this post about other ways to use the activity, possibly with less time or allowing more students to create the fun answers.


First, here's the flow of the game when used with the whole class.

  1. Choose 3 to 5 students to be the contestants in the game. They should sit at the front of the room. They'll need either paper or a computer, depending on how you want them to share their riddle answers with you.
  2. The teacher draws two random words.
  3. The contestants get two minutes to write their best haiku that contains those two words. Each student shares his or her haiku with the teacher.
  4. The teacher reads them and they are entered in the game slide so the students can see them.
  5. The students in the class vote on the their favorite haiku (using a classroom response system or possibly Google Forms).
  6. Points are awarded to the contestants based on the number of votes they received.
  7. Steps 2 - 6 are repeated three or four times, then scores are totaled to determine a winner.

Here is the Google Slides presentation that you'll need to play this game or to do any of the activities listed below.


Click to have a copy of the Google Slides presentation added to your Google Drive. 

Video Overview


This 4 minute video shows how to play a similar game. It's about answering a riddle instead of making a haiku, but the way you carry it out in class is the same. (If you're interested, here's the post about that game.)



Tips and suggestions for other ways to use the activity

  • Usually the students make funny poems, but you could require different criteria for the "best" poem.
  • Have some things to show the rest of the class while the contestants write their poems. 
  • It's easy to change some of the words that I have in the game, or you can just add a few. Pick things from your school, like your football team or the cafeteria. If you're feeling brave, put your name in the mix! This gives students a chance to practice being funny while still being respectful.
  • Have the other students write their haiku too. After the vote, have some of them share what they wrote if they want.
  • If you don't want to devote much class time to the game, just draw two words at the end of class and have all students make a haiku for homework. You can select your top 5 and have them vote on the best one as a warm-up in a later class.
  • Be sure to read my post about creativity exercises that can be used before playing this game.

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