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NCERT Textbook: Poem - Whatif, English, Class 6 | English Class 6 (Honeysuckle) PDF Download

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DESERT ANIMALS 121
Whatif
Whatif
pranced: jumped/
danced happily
dumb: unable to
answer questions
or do tasks
Are there times when your mind fills with fear? Have you ever
thought,“What if something dangerous happens to me or the
people around me?” “What if the world stops revolving around
the sun?” “What if the sun does not rise in the morning?”
Here is a poem which talks about some more such “Whatifs”.
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming-pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
2022-23
Page 2


DESERT ANIMALS 121
Whatif
Whatif
pranced: jumped/
danced happily
dumb: unable to
answer questions
or do tasks
Are there times when your mind fills with fear? Have you ever
thought,“What if something dangerous happens to me or the
people around me?” “What if the world stops revolving around
the sun?” “What if the sun does not rise in the morning?”
Here is a poem which talks about some more such “Whatifs”.
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming-pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
2022-23
flunk: fail
122 HONEYSUCKLE
WORKING WITH THE POEM
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then
The night-time Whatif strikes again!
SHEL SILVERSTEIN
1. (i) Who is the speaker in the poem?
(ii) With your partner list out the happenings the speaker is worried
about.
(iii) Why do you think she/he has these worries? Can you think
of ways to get rid of such worries?
2. Read the following line.
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
Can words crawl into your ear?  This is an image. The poet is trying
to make an image of what she/he experiences. Now with your
partner try and list out some more images from the poem.
3. In groups of four discuss some more ‘whatifs’ that you experience
in your day to day life and list them out.
(i)
—————————————————————————————————
(ii)
—————————————————————————————————
2022-23
Page 3


DESERT ANIMALS 121
Whatif
Whatif
pranced: jumped/
danced happily
dumb: unable to
answer questions
or do tasks
Are there times when your mind fills with fear? Have you ever
thought,“What if something dangerous happens to me or the
people around me?” “What if the world stops revolving around
the sun?” “What if the sun does not rise in the morning?”
Here is a poem which talks about some more such “Whatifs”.
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming-pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
2022-23
flunk: fail
122 HONEYSUCKLE
WORKING WITH THE POEM
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then
The night-time Whatif strikes again!
SHEL SILVERSTEIN
1. (i) Who is the speaker in the poem?
(ii) With your partner list out the happenings the speaker is worried
about.
(iii) Why do you think she/he has these worries? Can you think
of ways to get rid of such worries?
2. Read the following line.
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
Can words crawl into your ear?  This is an image. The poet is trying
to make an image of what she/he experiences. Now with your
partner try and list out some more images from the poem.
3. In groups of four discuss some more ‘whatifs’ that you experience
in your day to day life and list them out.
(i)
—————————————————————————————————
(ii)
—————————————————————————————————
2022-23
(iii)
—————————————————————————————————
(iv)
—————————————————————————————————
(v)
—————————————————————————————————
(vi)
—————————————————————————————————
(vii)
—————————————————————————————————
(viii)
—————————————————————————————————
And now write a poem of five or six lines with the ‘whatifs’ that you
have listed.
WHATIF 123
Answers
1. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa
and Chattisgarh.
2. Middle Andaman.
Situated in the Bay of Bengal, the Middle
Andaman is India’s largest island.
Know Your Country Know Your Country Know Your Country Know Your Country Know Your Country
2022-23
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Poem - Whatif, English, Class 6 - English Class 6 (Honeysuckle)

1. What is the meaning of the poem "Whatif"?
Ans. The poem "Whatif" explores the fears and anxieties that a child may have regarding various situations and the consequences of their actions. It highlights the importance of overcoming these fears and embracing life's uncertainties.
2. Who is the author of the poem "Whatif"?
Ans. The poem "Whatif" is written by Shel Silverstein, an American poet, singer-songwriter, and children's author. He is well-known for his humorous and imaginative works.
3. What is the central theme of the poem "Whatif"?
Ans. The central theme of the poem "Whatif" is the fear of the unknown and the power of imagination. It showcases the various "what if" scenarios that run through a child's mind, often leading to unnecessary worries and self-doubt.
4. How does the poem "Whatif" encourage the reader to overcome their fears?
Ans. The poem "Whatif" encourages the reader to confront their fears by presenting exaggerated and humorous scenarios that highlight the irrationality of worrying about every possible negative outcome. It emphasizes the importance of facing uncertainties head-on and embracing life's challenges.
5. What is the significance of the repetitive structure in the poem "Whatif"?
Ans. The repetitive structure in the poem "Whatif" serves to emphasize the recurring nature of the fears and anxieties experienced by the child. It also adds a rhythmic quality to the poem, making it engaging and memorable for the reader.
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