Friday, April 13, 2012

Decisions, Decisions - A Poetry Break

This is an excellent poem to share on various topics like President’s Day (February 18), Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday (April 13), and Inventors Day (November 9). Today we’re celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s 269th birthday.


Decisions, Decisions
(Thomas Jefferson, 1801-9)
 by Susan Katz

Thomas Jefferson designed

a rope apparatus that shifted his bed
up to the ceiling
Or down to the floor;

a two-faced clock that he could see
inside the house
or outside the house;

a swivel chair so he could swirl
to his right
or to his left;

a dumbwaiter that hauled his drinks
down to the cellar
or back upstairs;

a door on a pivot that he could swing
open to the dining room
or open to the passage;

a revolving stand so he could read
five books
at one time.

A cleverer man you couldn’t find,
but somewhat unable
to make up his mind.

  • Share more fun facts about this founding father.
  • Have the children pick facts that they like about Jefferson and have them create a list poem.

Katz, Susan. 2012. The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents. Illus. by Robert Neubecker. NY, NY: Clarion Books. ISBN: 9780547182216.

Here is the footnote that accompanied this poem:
Thomas Jefferson played role in the design of many inventions, often improving upon other people’s ideas. His contributions included an octagonal house, a polygraph machine for writing several copies of a letter simultaneously, a ladder that folded up into a pole, and a wheel cipher for using secret codes (a version of which was used until World War II, nearly a century and a half later).

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