Date: January 16th, 2014

Countdown to Recess

by Kalli Dakos

The Goof Who Invented Homework by Kalli DakosSun climbs,
Wind chimes.
Five minutes until recess.

A baseball glove,
A game I love.
Four minutes until recess.

I whisper to Pat,
“Get ready to bat.”
Three minutes until recess.

My work’s all done,
I gotta run.
Two minutes until recess.

Clock, hurry!
Hands, scurry!
One minute until recess.


Gone in a flash!

Copyright © 1996 Kalli DakosFrom the book The Goof Who Invented Homework: And Other School Poems. Dial Books for Young Readers. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About this Poem

Recess has always been a time of joy for children. They can run in the wind, play their favorite games, talk to their friends, and have a break from work in the classroom.

Students might want to write their own Recess Poems, or their own Countdown Poems – Countdown to the Holidays, Countdown to My Birthday!

This poem uses both rhyme and repetition which makes it fun to read and helps the reader understand how the child feels. The end words of the first two lines in each stanza rhyme (climbs/chimes, glove/love), and the words “minutes until recess” are repeated.

The short lines (only 1-5 words) give the poem a sense of urgency.

Have fun with the poem and try writing one of your own.

About The Author

Children's Poet Kalli DakosKalli Dakos has been celebrating the school world since the release of her best-selling book, If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School. She has written many collections of school poems, including six IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Selections, such as Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig, The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee, Don’t Read This Book, Whatever You Do! and A Funeral in the Bathroom.

As a former reading specialist and teacher, Kalli uses her educational background to create joyous, fun-filled assemblies and writing workshops that provide sound reinforcement for standards of learning, disguised as high-energy fun and filled with audience participation. She has visited schools all over the U.S. and Canada and as far away as Hong Kong.

Kalli believes that “a poem can change a child and a child can change the world.”

Where to Buy this Book

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