Teaching Sijo

resources for teachers

The sijo is a traditional structured three-line Korean poetic form. It has been the most popular form of lyric verse in Korea for over five hundred years and is considered a classic example of traditional Korean fine arts. Through the sijo, students may be introduced to not only a unique, lesser-known form of poetry, but also a culture little explored.

Here you can find resources intended to aid teachers interested in bringing the sijo to their classrooms.

Sijo structure and samples (.ppt) - a brief overview of the sijo and numerous examples of sijo written by ancient Korean and contemporary English poets, including past Sejong Writing Competition winners. Compiled by the Sejong Cultural Society. (also available as a PDF)

Sijo Primer (an introduction for those new to sijo) by Larry Gross (.pdf)

Structure of the Korean Sijo by David McCann (.pdf)

A brief overview of the history and culture of Korea (.ppt) - a very general background regarding the culture of Korea. Compiled by the Sejong Cultural Society. (also available as a PDF)

Sijo lectures by David McCann:
Part 1 (form and structure)
Part 2 (history)
Part 3 (sample analysis of sijo)

Teaching Guides

Reading and Writing the Sijo (.doc) - a suggested outline for teaching sijo in a language arts classroom, intended for grades 7-12. Written by Mrs. Tracy Kaminer, Marist School, GA.

Korean Sijo (.doc) - a lesson plan with a focus on translations and the cultural aspect of sijo, intended for grades 9-12. Written by Ms. Amy Stoltenberg, Highland High School, IA.

Teaching Examples

Video index - Video examples of three teachers using the sijo in their classes. Includes Ms Tracy Kaminer (Randolph-Macon Academy, Front Royal, VA), Ms Elizabeth Jorgensen and Ms Heidi Hamilton (Arrowhead Union High School, Hartland, WI), and Mr Chuck Newell (Notre Dame High School, Chattanooga, TN).