I received an email from first-grade teacher Erin Baker. She was preparing to teach a unit on balance to first graders and wondered if I had any relevant poems or could recommend any that related to the topic. I told her, “I have actually toyed with the idea of soliciting needed poem ideas from teachers through my newsletter for educators (Salas Snippets), but I figured I’d either get NO requests (embarrassing) or be inundated (overwhelming).
Anyway, first, I turned to poetry resource extraordinaire Sylvia Vardell, who recommended “I’m a Gymnast” in Jack Prelutsky’s Good Sports. I knew she’d have an answer!
Then I played around one afternoon (yes, there was work on deadline I should have been doing instead!), and came up with a few poems. They aren’t all necessarily first-grade accessible, but I shared them with Erin, and I’ll share one here today, plus the other two later this week. Here’s the first-grade-friendly one. It’s not stellar poetry, but it was fun to work on. Maybe I’ll come back to it in the future.
My memory of see-saws is that thump down. The image you used was reminiscent of the Dick and Jane books.
I can still feel my bruised tailbone, Margaret!
Martha O'Quinn says
What memories! My first ever broken arm was the result of a tumble from a see-saw on a Sunday afternoon visit at my paternal grandparent’s home. I was 5 yrs. old, standing with feet on the ground so the see-saw would be level; older/bigger cousin jumped on the other end, she went “thump down” and I flew up and off of the see-saw. The next week I entered first grade with my arm in a cast and a sling. The sweet memory about that afternoon was leaving our family doctor’s office on the second floor of a building. The stairwell was rather dimly lit but Daddy gingerly walked me down the steps, one arm around my shoulders and the other holding the sling against my chest to keep the arm from bouncing.
Oh, that is the best story, Martha. Well, not the arm-breaking part:>) Thank you for sharing it!
Linda Baie says
I haven’t seen a see-saw on a playground in a long time, but this is very cute. This is a kind of balance thing as an adult I can push & then my granddaughters go “up”. Love the poem, and maybe will talk about balance next time I’m with them. Thanks, Laura.
Yeah, they are disappearing! Of course, all the memories of bumps, bruises, and broken bones kind of indicate why:>) Thanks, Linda!