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Poetry Break #12: Poem Relevant to Mathematics

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Mrs. Mann's Poetry Corner

INTRODUCTION: In mathematics, poems can be used to introduce a concept, reinforce a concept being taught or as an extension for a concept. This poem is fun to integrate with lessons on measurement. Sometimes it's difficult for students to understand how much an inch really is. The poem "One Inch Tall" allows children to use their imagination and discover what it would be like to be one inch tall.


ONE INCH TALL

If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write-
'Cause I'm just one inch tall).


Shel Silverstein
"Where the Sidewalk Ends"
(HarperCollins Publishing, 1974)


EXTENSION: It would be fun to have students measure one inch on a piece of paper and draw a person that small. Then they could cut the person out and show their new friend around the classroom to see how their environment would look to someone just one inch tall.