Math poems for young elementary students can be used with STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities.

Throughout my researching math poems and writing math poems activities, I’ve found lesson plans dating back to the 1990’s when plans first became available on the Internet. All along, teachers have been integrating poetry across the curriculum for science, technology, engineering, and math.

It’s just in the past few years the acronym STEM has been attached to the grouping of these content area subjects.

6 Math Poems for Early Grades STEM

The following early elementary readings are 6 fun math poems: Band-Aids, One Inch Tall, Baloney Belly Billy, Shapes, Smart, and Eighteen Flavors, written by the popular Shel Silverstein.

The 6 fun math poems are from two of his books, A Light in the Attic (Shapes) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (the other five), and are used by teachers in many creative ways.

I have included a link to a printable download for each of the 6 math poems which you are free to print and copy for use with 6 Surprising Math Activities You Can Do with Shel Silverstein.

After reading the math poems with children, have fun with the associated lesson plans. The purpose is two-fold…enjoying poetry and learning math concepts with a clear understanding that they will retain.

You can find more activities for writing math poems for elementary and high school children on STEM POEMS | STEM ACTIVITIES. 

6 Math Poems for STEM Activities

by Shel Silverstein

BAND-AIDS Poem Printable

I have a Band-Aid on my finger,
One on my knee, and one on my nose,
One on my heel,and two on my shoulder,
Three on my elbow, and nine on my toes.
Two on my wrist, and one on my ankle,
One on my chin, and one on my thigh,
Four on my belly, and five on my bottom,
One on my forehead, and one on my eye.
One on my neck, and in case I might need ’em
I have a box full of thirty-five more.
But oh! I do think it’s sort of a pity
I don’t have a cut or a sore!

by Shel Silverstein

ONE INCH TALL Poem Printable

If you were only one inch tall, you’d ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.
If you were only one inch tall,
you’d walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month
to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You’d swing upon a spider’s thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.
You’d surf across the kitchen sink
upon a stick of gum.
You couldn’t hug your mama,
you’d just have to hug her thumb.
You’d run from people’s feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write– ‘Cause I’m just one inch tall).

by Shel Silverstein


Baloney Belly Billy
swallows anything for cash.
If you offer him a penny,
he’ll chew paper from the trash.
He’ll eat guppies for a nickel,
for a dime, he’ll eat a bug,
and a quarter will convince him
that he ought to eat a slug.
I have seen him eat a button.
I have seen him eat a bee.
I have seen him eat three beetles
for a half dollar fee.
For a dollar he will gladly eat
a lizard off a fence,
just imagine what he’d swallow
for another fifty cents.

by Shel Silverstein

SHAPES Poem Printable

A square was sitting quietly
Outside his rectangular shack
When a triangle came down – kerplunk!
And struck him in the back.
“I must go to the hospital,”
Cried the wounded square,
So a passing rolling circle
Picked him up and took him there.

by Shel Silverstein

SMART Poem Printable

My dad gave me one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three times — I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickles for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!
And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head–
Too proud of me to speak!

Eighteen Flavors
by Shel Silverstein


Eighteen luscious, scrumptious flavors
Chocolate, lime and cherry,
Coffee, pumpkin, fudge banana
Caramel cream and boysenberry.
Rocky road and toasted almond,
Butterscotch, vanilla dip,
Butter brickle, apple ripple,
Coconut and espresso chip,
Brandy peach and lemon custard,
Each scoop lovely, smooth and round,
Tallest ice-cream cone in town,
Lying there (sniff) on the ground.