Adapted from the poem by Kenn Nesbitt in The Aliens Have Landed at Our School! , published by Meadowbrook Press.
Summary: A child has lost a front tooth, making it difficult to pronounce some words. The child gets frustrated when Mom misunderstands everything the child says.
Presentation Suggestions: Have the students read or perform the poem in front of the class. Have the students act out the different lines while they read them.
Props: A black piece of construction paper cut to cover the front tooth of the student playing the child (giving the appearance of a missing tooth) would be a great prop, but if paper is not available the poem can be performed without it.
Delivery: The lines of the poem need to be read with poetic rhythm. For more information on poetic rhythm and how to perform poetry in classroom, please read the Performing Poetry section under the Teacher’s Resources.
I’m having trouble thpeaking
thinthe I lotht my middle tooth.
Jutht yethterday my tooth wath fine—
today it wiggled loothe.
At firtht I thought it thilly
I athked my mom to clothe the door.
when my tooth fell out today,
but no one theemth to underthtand
a thingle word I thay.
I thaid a mouthe wath in my room
and she should come and thee.
Your mouth is on your face;
it’s right where it should be.
I wonder if you underthtand
the thircumthtanthe I’m in.
I told her I wath feeling thick.
At latht she thaw how mad I wath
and thought I might thtop breathing.
She laughed and thaid she didn’t mean it—
She wath only teething.
© 2001 by Kenn Nesbitt. Adapted from the poem in The Aliens Have Landed at Our School!, published by Meadowbrook Press. This classroom theater play version of “Mithing Tooth ” is © 2005 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 email@example.com for permission.