"My Thumbies" Poetry Theater

A poem in two voices

Adapted from the poem by Bruce Lansky in My Dog Ate My Homework, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Summary: A mother tries to get her child to stop sucking his thumbs.

Presentation Suggestions: Have the students read or perform the poem in front of the class. Have the student act out the different lines about sucking his thumbs while reading them. For even more fun, have an adult read and act out the part of the child (The students will enjoy this and it will save any student possible embarrassment over reading a poem about sucking his thumbs).

Props: This poem can be performed without props.

Delivery: The lines of the poem need to be read with poetic rhythm; please note that one line of the poem is often split between different characters. In addition, have the people reading the poem to decide on an age for the last stanza BEFORE reading the poem. For more information on poetic rhythm and how to perform poetry in a classroom, please read the Performing Poetry section under the Teacher's Resources.


My Thumbies


I have two little thumbies
They're with me day and night.
My favorite thumb is on my left.
The other's on my right
My thumbies always comfort me
when I am feeling sad.
They help me to protect myself
when I am feeling mad.
My thumbies help me fall asleep
when I am feeling tired.
I do not know how better friends
could ever be desired.
My mother says it's time to quit--
that sucking thumbs is bad.
And every time I suck my thumbs,
my mom gets very mad.


You've got to quit. Don't suck your thumbs--
your left one or your right.
It's pushing all your front teeth out.
It's ruining your bite.
It might take years to get straight teeth,
with braces on your mouth.
It isn't fun. Believe me, son.
So keep your thumbs down south.


I'm (age of child). It's time to quit--
of all the silly habits.
I don't want people thinking that
my teeth look like a rabbit's.


© 1996 by Bruce Lansky. Adapted from the poem "My Thumbies" from My Dog Ate My Homework, published by Meadowbrook Press. This classroom theater play version of "My Thumbies" is © 1999 by Meadowbrook Press.

Click the cover for more information or to buy the book.
    My Dog Ate My Homework!    

Permission is given for individual school classes to perform this play and to make as many copies of the play as are needed for the students' use. All other reproduction and performance is prohibited under penalty of law. For use of this play outside individual classes, please contact for permission.

Click here to learn more about Bruce Lansky.