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the poetry of science

Earth’s Place in the Universe

Science and Children—November/December 2022 (Volume 60, Issue 2)

By Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

Old Water

Old Water

by April Halprin Wayland

I am having a soak in the tub.
Mom is giving my neck a strong scrub.

Water sloshes against the sides.
H2O’s seeping into my eyes.

The wet stuff running down my face?
She says it came from outer space!

The water washing between my toes
was born a billion years ago.

Poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong © 2014 Pomelo Books; illustration by Frank Ramspott from The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids © 2015 Pomelo Books.

Take 5!

  1. As you read the poem aloud, pantomime the actions suggested in the poem, scrubbing your neck, wiping your eyes, wiping your face, lifting your feet or toes.
  2. Read the poem aloud again and invite students to join you in pantomiming the poem actions.
  3. Work with students to identify all the words the poet uses to describe water: soak, water, slosh, H20, seep, wet, washing.
  4. Discuss the water cycle briefly (how it was born billions of years ago) as well as examples of how water is useful to us in everyday life (for baths, for cooking, etc.).
  5. For another poem about the water cycle, look for “Water Round” by Leslie Bulion (Online Resources) and follow up with the nonfiction books Water Cycle by Craig Hammersmith (Resources) or Drop: An Adventure through the Water Cycle by Emily Kate Moon (Resources).


Wayland, A.H. 2014. “Old Water” in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, eds. S. Vardell and J. Wong, 44. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.


Hammersmith, C. 2011. Water cycle. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.

Moon, E.K. 2021. Drop: An adventure through the water cycle. New York: Dial.

Online Resources

April Halprin Wayland author website:

“Water Round” by Leslie Bulion:


Astronomy Interdisciplinary Literacy Elementary

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