"Turn Off the TV!" Poetry Theater
A poem in three voices

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

Summary: A child debates watching TV with his parents.

Presentation Suggestions: Read or perform the poem with your friends. Act out the different lines while you read them.

Props: A TV would be a great prop but if one is not available the poem can be performed without it.

Delivery: The lines of the poem should be read with poetic rhythm but don&rsqup;t worry too much about this. For more information on poetic rhythm and how to perform poetry, please read the Performing Poetry section of our site.


Turn Off the TV!


    My father gets quite mad at me;
    my mother gets upset—
    when they catch me watching
    our new television set.
    My father yells,

Dad (yelling):

    “Turn that thing off!”


    Mom says,


    “It’s time to study.”


    I’d rather watch my favorite TV show
    with my best buddy.
    I sneak down after homework
    and turn the set on low.
    But when she sees me watching it,
    my mother yells out,

Mom (yelling):



    Dad says,


    “If you don’t turn it off,
    I’ll hang it from a tree!”


    I rather doubt he’ll do it,
    ‘cause he watches more than me.
    He watches sports all weekend,
    and weekday evenings too,
    while munching chips and pretzels—
    the room looks like a zoo.

    So if he ever got the nerve
    to hang it from a tree,
    he’d spend a lot of time up there—
    watching it with me.

The End


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