"Turn Off the TV" Poetry Theater

A poem in three voices

Adapted from the poem by Bruce Lansky in My Dog Ate My Homework, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Summary: A child debates watching TV with his parents.

Presentation Suggestions: Have the students read or perform the poem in front of the class.

Props: A TV would be a great prop but if one is not available the poem can be performed without it.

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


Turn Off the TV!


My father gets quite mad at me;
my mother gets upset--
when they catch me watching
our new television set.

Dad (yelling):

Turn that thing off!


It's time to study.


I'd rather watch my favorite TV show
with my best buddy.
I sneak down after homework
and turn the set on low.
But when she sees me watching it,
my mother yells out . . .

Mom (yelling):



If you don't turn it off,
I'll hang it from a tree!


I rather doubt he'll do it,
'cause he watches more than me.
He watches sports all weekend,
and weekday evenings too,
while munching chips and pretzels--
the room looks like a zoo.
So if he ever got the nerve
to hang it from a tree,
he'd spend a lot of time up there--
watching it with me.

© 1996 by Bruce Lansky. Adapted from the poem "Turn Off the TV" from My Dog Ate My Homework, published by Meadowbrook Press. This classroom theater play version of "Turn Off the TV" is © 1999 by Meadowbrook Press.

Click the cover for more information or to buy the book.
    My Dog Ate My Homework!    

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 Bruce Lansky