Making mistakes with haikus

During my third week working virtually with Dubois Students, we experimented with haikus. Haiku is a short Japanese three-line poem written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.

Students read the poem “Haiku for How to Screw Up Middle School,” by Liz Garton Scanlon. Usually haikus are written about nature, but Scanlon decides to use haikus to describe the mistakes she made as a middle schooler. Hit the snooze button/just once, oh just this once more?/You will miss your bus. Despite embarrassing and sometimes cringeworthy moments in Scanlon’s poem, she offers a silver lining. Will this ever end? / Middle school is not forever/ You can do this thing. Not only does Scanlon survive this experience, she proves that “we too” can overcome any obstacle. By making mistakes we can learn and grow as individuals.

Inspired by Scanlon, students wrote their own haikus, describing the mistakes they’ve made in the past and how they overcame them. Enjoy these published poems.



Ms. Dydo
8th Grade


Haiku For How To Screw Up A TV
By Elijah R.

I broke the TV
I had a friend over to play
I was six years old

We watched TV
My favorite show was on
The show started

Music was playing
I started dancing very fast
I hit the Table

The TV falls down
I look at the messed up screen
I began to cry

I ran to the table
I hid their and waited
I fall a sleep

Mother comes home
She sees the broken TV
And she gets upset

She finds me
She sees me on the floor
And wakes me up

I get confronted
She puts me in time out
I am in trouble


How to Screw Up Cleaning
By Jayla J.

throwing away food
wouldn’t recommend it sucks
you’ll get in trouble

Never touch the food
Let someone else do it purrr
Don’t clean the kitchen

Don’t throw away food
Blame your brothers every single time
You won’t get in trouble

Blackmail your brothers
Make them clean the kitchen now
And now you relax

Don’t clean the kitchen
Wouldn’t recommend its sucks
Never clean the fridge ever



Ms. Dydo
7th Grade


How to Screw Up a Rollercoaster 
By Kaliah B.

Roller Coaster thrill
Blood boiling and Hair rising
A stomach dropping

All heads are flopping
Everything dropping around
Trembling times shaking

One thread gone blown out
Wish it was yesterday now
In bed sleeping snooze

Sorrow is a whole
Tomorrow is desire now
Higher higher up

Mistakes weren’t made
Afraid of some weighted change
An exchange of fun


Haiku For How To Screw Up Life
By: Jewel W

The man in the moon – fake friends
Peter Pan – depression
Lost boy – suicide victim
Neverland – heaven
Captain Hook – reality
Tinkle bell – Anxiety
Shadow flying high – toxic people
Pixie Dust – over thinking
The town – hurtful words
Storybook : life
_____________________________________ Thank you!

I am a lost boy
From neverland lost in town
Mixed in pixie dust

The man in the moon
Said it would be Captain Hook
Scary, Audacious

Met Tinkerbell along
The peter pan journey way
wrapped sheets to cover

Shadows flying high
They looked at me ruthless, I-
No words, Quietness

The town took me
Stay away from Storybook
Eyes closed but hearts beat



Ms. Dydo
6th Grade


Haiku For How To take off your eyebrow
By Justin H.

Makeup is so weird
I don’t know how girls wear it
My brain is clueless

Why would I do that
I don’t know why I did it
My eyebrow is hurt

I walked up the stairs
then walked in the bathroom
and saw my cousin

She put on her creme
then went to get eyeliner
I rubbed it on

Looked in the mirror
when I tried to take it off
My eyebrow turned red!!


Haiku For How To Screw Up My Cousin’s Phone
By Deniyah L.

Being clumsy wow
Being clumsy is a gift
But I know one thing

It is a habit
I dropped her phone on the floor
It broke into chunks

My cousin pranked me
The prank was out of the blue
It was messy slime

No literally
It was everywhere on floor
I was very dumb

I learned from that day
Never make my cousin mad
And be more careful



Ms. Dydo
5th Grade


Haiku For How To Screw Up Your Arm
By Jaylen B.

When I broke my arm
I was on the treadmill fast
Had to get a cast

I waited to get
It off and it was better
After my cast was

Off my hand was wired
and after while it healed
My hand is good


Haiku For How To Screw Up Your Knee
By Je’Loni S.

Me and my brother
was playing my knee hurt bad
Then I heard was crack

It didn’t feel so good
next stop the doctors office
they popped it right back

But it got better
I had to get some check ups
It was not so fun

We got some ice cream
It made me feel much better
but that’s the end byeeee


Haiku For How To Screw Up in School
By Marvin S.

This math is so hard
The test is so hard for me
I didn’t know science

I don’t like to divide
Multiplying is very hard
My test is on Monday

I didn’t study
I got a C+ on math
My mom got my report

Mom look upset
I always study before the test day
That day I got A

I started to do good
I started do good in school
Mom see A and B



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.