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Anatomy Class

Today, I looked for a poem and, after some searching, settled on this one by Betsy Franco. I had not heard of her before, but the poem is interesting. I wondered what my students would have thought of it.

The poem is playful and inviting. People want to play and explore the world they inhabit with others and we are often left surprised by what we discover.

Franco points out the paradox of the words we use and inanimate objects like chairs, clocks, and kites come alive. Perhaps, in the minds of children, they do live. Maybe words and language are less of an impediment to children. They are present to a world that is fantastic and subject to a myriad of interpretations.

The chair has


The clock,

a face.

The kites have

long and twirly tails.

The tacks have


The books have


The toolbox has

a set of nails.

Our shoes have


the marbles,


The wooden desk has

legs and seat.

The cups have


My watch has


The classroom rulers all have


Heads, arms hands, nails,

spines, legs, feet, tails,

face, lips, tongues, eyes.

What a surprise!


Is our classroom alive?

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

10 responses »

  1. I enjoyed this lively study on words, Ivon. Crossword puzzles are good, too, for reminding us of the many human parts in inanimate objects. I liked this poem, thank you.

  2. This was fun. I love to write – but not poetry! I have written one poem in my adult life. That is about to change. I head to a poetry workshop on Tuesday. I’m already nervous!

    • I had students who learned to use poetry to keep notes. I told them to forget about grammar, spelling, capitals, etc. Once they relaxed, they were fine and it became fun for them. Good luck.

  3. poet I am expecially happy with the way the information is pesented as a poem and as information! Lovely, Blessings and Best regards, Tasha

  4. Dear Dear, I didn’t reread this before I posted it! What I said originally was: Thank you so much for this wonderful poem. As a poet I am especially happy with the way the information is presented as a poem and as information. Lovely! Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha

  5. I loved this title, as it brought the fun of naming the body parts of inanimate objects into the studiousness and participatory aspect of learning. How simply an awareness of our language teaches us about how we model the world, and ourselves!


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