Stay in, Please

Don’t go outside today!
Take care!
You’re better off this way…

The pool
In which you splash and splish
Is full
Of bugs and slimy fish!

The trees
You use to climb and crawl
Have leaves
Too many, and limbs too tall!

The ground,
When wet, turns into mud
And sounds
Like “sploosh” instead of “thud!”

A stick
Could be a spear or sword
Be quick
Or you might end up gored!

There’s really
Just too much to do
It’s silly
(And exciting too!)

If you go out today
Take care
You don’t get in my way

Request #3: Inferences and Classification

Julie Gottschalk (yes, my mother) writes:

My first science unit involves first understanding the difference between observations vs. inferences (also useful for talking about social interactions), and then we study classification (leading to invertebrates). If any of those ideas spark a poem, I’d love to share it with my kids. Last year’s crew loved your poems.

Here are 3 attempts to satisfy this request (2 poems about observations and inferences, one about classification):


Guess What I Drew

I drew a picture of a thing
It has a body and two wings
It flies, and walks on sharp clawed feet
And feathers make it all complete
What is it? You’ve probably guessed the word
The thing I’ve drawn is called…
A ferret-riding-a-remote-control-airplane-that-I-decorated-with-feathers!
…Why, what did you expect?

I drew a picture of a thing
It’s something that both flies and stings
It’s clad in black and yellow stripes
And enjoys flowers of many types
What did I draw? What could it be?
The thing I’ve drawn is called…
A florist-that-happens-to-be-an-eagle-which-is-dressed-up-as-a-tiger-for-Halloween-and-also-just-flew-through-some-painful-thorn-bushes
…That’s what you guessed, right?

I drew a picture of a thing
It has a mustache and three rings
It’s purple, but its eyes are blue
It’s ten feet tall, but skinny too
I wonder what you make of that?
Did you guess it? I drew…
A cat! Just a really weird cat
…You probably figured that one out, though



Today, we learned about “inferencing”
But frankly, I found it sickening
It’s all just guessing and assuming
So I won’t practice this “inference” thing

If my mom says to “Make my bed”
I won’t assume I understand what she said
I won’t infer that she means clean bedspread
And perhaps she was asking my brother instead

If someone’s knocking upon my door
Why bother walking across my floor?
There’s many reasons they might knock for
They could like knocking and nothing more

If my eyes are closed and I throw a ball
And later discover a hole in the wall
I won’t infer that it was my fault
I don’t see why I’d be blamed at all

Why can’t my teacher give this a rest?
Why is she just so inference-obsessed?
And if I get an “F” on my test
For all I know the “F” stands for “Best”



I have a theory
I’ve decided
Can be divided

Into one
Of just two types:
Things with fur
Or things with stripes

My pillow’s stripey
And my sheets
So are beach balls
And grilled meats

While dogs are furry
And wool socks
Tigers are–

I have a theory
I’ve decided
Can be divided

Into one
Of just three types:
Things with fur
Or things with stripes
Or things that have
Both fur and stripes

A cat has fur
A dog does too
My socks have stripes
So do my shoes

While zebras clearly
Have them both
And as for goldfish–

I have a theory
I’ve decided
Can be divided

Things with fur
Or stripes
Or fur and stripes
Or without fur and without stripes
Okay. I think
That’s all the types

But wait
Does having one stripe count?
Does it matter
What fur amount?

How many ways
Can I do division?

…I think my theory
Needs revision