"If the World Was Crazy..." Poems

I've been out of the classroom for over 12 years now. While I have kept my teaching credential current just in case, I have no plans to return to classroom teaching. Trevor has largely outgrown the teaching materials I've been keeping and using with him to supplement the education he gets in public school. I'm not getting rid of everything, but it's time to go through my teaching materials and pass them on to someone who will use them. 

In the process, I came across a poem I wrote as a sample for my students in 2005. After reading "If the World Was Crazy..." by Shel Silverstein, I challenged each student to write their own version of the poem. The original poem has three stanzas. In the first, the author describes what he would eat if the world was crazy. In the second, what he would wear, and in the third, what he would do. I asked my students to write a one-stanza poem using a different verb than eat, wear, or do. Anything else was fair game. We brainstormed some good options (i.e, one syllable verbs that rhyme with something): play, go, cook, taste, try, use, ride, learn, hear, feel, etc.

I wrote my example, using the verb cook, in front of the students. I demonstrated counting syllables and following the meter and rhyming structure of the original poem. They loved watching me write a silly poem and were very excited to give it a try. Unfortunately, I didn't save copies of my students' work, which is a shame as some were really fun and creative. I am so glad I saved my own. Last week (thirteen years after writing the poem), I added some illustrations to accompany it, which I'll pass along to a teacher friend to use as a sample. 

As I was looking for links to Shel Silverstein's site, I came across this delightful version of "If the World Was Crazy." It makes me want to animate my poem. Watch with the volume up. 

Shel Silverstein was one of a kind. I am so glad to have grown up with, and passed on to my students, his whimsical and unique poetry.


  1. The Giving Tree is still my all time favorite book!! I love your version of his poem!! Almost sounds like stuff Buddy the Elf would eat! LOL!! :)

  2. Loved this post so much! Brought back wonderful memories. Your version of his poem is so creative and fun, and I love your illustrations. And I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the animated version. Yes, it was delightful!


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