"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: Read or perform the poem with your friends. Act out the different lines about sucking thumbs while reading them poem. For even more fun, ask one of your parents to be the character who sucks his thumb.

Props: This poem can be performed without props.

Delivery: The lines of the poem should be read with poetic rhythm but don't worry too much about this. 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, please read the Performing Poetry section of our site.


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.

The End


© 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.

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 info@meadowbrookpress.com for permission.

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