"Empty Headed" Poetry Theater

A poem in many voices

Adapted from the poem by Linda J. Knaus in Miles of Smiles, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Summary: A bunch of children tell about all the crazy things they've seen!

Presentation Suggestions: Have your students read the poem, with each student reading out a different pair of lines; if you use ten students each of them can read different lines. If only a couple ofstudents are reading, alternate stanzas. For the last stanza, everyone reads the lines together.

Props: This poem can be performed without props.

Delivery: The lines of the poem should be read with poetic rhythm. For more information on poetic rhythm and how to perform poetry in your classroom, please read the Performing Poetry section of our site.

Each person reads a different pair of lines (or stanza). Everyone reads the last stanza at the same time.

Empty Headed

First reader:

I've seen the hair of a bald-headed man
and the socks on a barefooted boy.

Second reader:

I've seen the light in a very dark room
and a sad woman jumping for joy.

Third reader:

I met a blind man who claimed he could see
and a very tall midget in shorts.

Next reader:

There's a sick man in Jersey in excellent health,
according to latest reports.

Next reader:

I took a hot bath in water so cold
it actually turned my lips blue.

Next reader:

I went to a farm where the cows lay the eggs
and the chickens give milk and say, "Moo."

Next reader:

I've seen a dead man just barely alive.
I once combed my hair with a brush.

Next reader:

I walked to the store in a taxi one night
to avoid the midafternoon rush.

Next reader:

I sat way up front in the back of the room.
I bought ham that was labeled 'all beef."


They x-rayed my head and found nothing at all
which I must say is quite a relief.


© 1998 by Linda J. Knaus. Adapted from the poem "Empty Headed" from Miles of Smiles, published by Meadowbrook Press. This classroom theater play version of "Empty Headed" is © 1999 by Meadowbrook Press.

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    Miles of Smiles    

Permission is given for individual school classes to perform this play and to make as many copies of the play as are needed for the students' use. All other reproduction and performance is prohibited under penalty of law. For use of this play outside individual classes, please contact for permission.