“I Went to the Doctor” Poetry Theater

A poem in two voices

Adapted from the poem by Kenn Nesbitt in The Aliens Have Landed!, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Summary: A sick child visits the doctor and gets a shot.

Presentation Suggestions: Have the students read or perform the poem in front of the class. Have the students act out the different lines while they read them.

Props: A lab coat and a syringe would be great props, but if they are not available the poem can be performed without them.

Delivery: The lines of the poem need to be read with poetic rhythm. For more information on poetic rhythm and how to perform poetry in classroom, please read the Performing Poetry section under the Teacher's Resources.


I Went to the Doctor


I went to the doctor,
all covered in bumps.
He said,


You’ve got whooping cough,
tetanus, rubella,
digestive dysfunction
from green salmonella.

You’re covered with head lice,
mosquitoes, and fleas.
You’ve even got pinkeye
and mad cow disease.

What’s more, you’ve got cooties,
a cold, and the flu,
but don’t be upset;
I know just what to do.


He told me,


I promise
this won’t hurt a bit.


Then grabbed a syringe
like a barbecue spit.

He made me bend over
the seat of my chair,
then plunged that big needle
in my you-know-where.

So now I’m all cured
of my cooties and fleas,
my whooping cough, measles,
and mad cow disease.

He cured me of every last
sniffle and bump,
and now I’m all better—
except for my rump.


© 2001 by Kenn Nesbitt. Adapted from the poem in The Aliens Have Landed! , published by Meadowbrook Press. This classroom theater play version of "I Went to the Doctor" is © 2005 by Meadowbrook Press.

Click the cover for more information or to buy the book.
    The Aliens Have Landed!    

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.

Click here to learn more about Ken Nesbitt.