Final Exam Haikus – Fall 2016 Installment



For my final exams in Western Civilization class, I like to include a bit of ostensibly “fun” extra credit for the students to allow them to show their understanding of the material in creative ways. My go-to for this type of extra credit opportunity is a haiku writing.

I was particularly proud of myself on this year’s final exam because I managed to make the instructions for the extra credit meta:

Please write a haiku (5 syllables)

About something we studied (7 syllables)

And makes me laugh, too (5 syllables)

Here’s a sampling of the most amusing (and in some cases, timely) responses I got this year:

Alcibiades, a

demagogue who is dumb and

stupid but sexy


Columbus sailed far

he called them Indian friends

his naming was wrong


95 Theses

Martain Luther posted these

Does Jesus agree?


Columbus, my man

Discovered America?

Natives disagree


Pericles was smart

We are gonna “build a wall”.

That will never work


The Habsburg Jawline,

after years of inbreeding

hurt Chuck V badly.


This final one, while not content-related, does reveal that this student well understands my biggest pet-peeves of historical “analysis” and how to hopefully avoid them:


Dr. Kogan’s class

is fun, but not when we say

the word bias, yeah.


One thought on “Final Exam Haikus – Fall 2016 Installment

  1. Ryan says:

    This is a fun way to finish off the end of the year! But I can also see it for other practical uses throughout any type of unit. Much like six word summaries or tweets, haiku poems could be used as either formative assessments or exit tickets for specific lessons. Given that they are generally more enjoyable to create than a six word summary, while also allowing a little bit more flexibility in writing, I could see students really getting into an assignment like this. It would also be nice to have a compilation of all the haikus that were created over the semester/year to use as a study form for the final, or to keep with students as enduring understandings from the year’s work. Thank you for posting these blogs, I appreciate their ability to make me think!

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