Keep phalanges out of outlets Keep phalanges to yourself Clip the ends of those phalanges Don't put them in your mouth There's phalanges on your hanjees And phalanges on your feet They're good for poking people You use them when you eat Phalanges can be handy For playing in the snow But phalanges could fall off If you get them cold, you know So take care of your phalanges You can't grow any more I wouldn't put them in that fan... Thunk! Thunk! Now they're on the floor -B.C. Byron
Phalanges is one of the coolest words I know. It’s the technical term for the little bones hanging off your hands and feet, but I like to use the term phalanges in place of the words fingers and toes. It just sounds better when you say “get your phalanges out of the peanut butter jar”, or call those tricky little paper puzzles a “phalange trap” instead of a finger trap. It’s the fun kind of scientific word that makes me think, “that needs a silly poem”. For the kids reading this poem, you now have a word to impress your friends and teachers, a word that you can slip into everyday conversations and have a laugh as people tilt their head to the side and say, “your what-jees?”
Another great anatomy word is epidermis. It’s the thin, upper layer of skin that we can see. My friends in grade school used to tell me that my epidermis was showing and act all embarrassed. Not knowing the word’s meaning, I would check that my pants were not falling down and my shirt was buttoned. I had no idea that my face was covered in epidermis. Another great way to have fun with science words. Science and poetry are also a great pairing.
Take care of your phalanges, kids. Keep them out of spinning fans, blenders, bear’s mouths, and nuclear reactors.