As classrooms celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and use his books as the basis for lesson plans, there will no doubt be plenty of counting one fish and two fish and coloring red fish and blue fish. Yet Dr. Seuss had so many stories to tell that teachers and parents can dip a bit deeper into the learning well. At home or in the classroom, you can use Dr. Seuss books as a tool for building needed skills and concept lessons.
Here are a few examples to get you started.
Horton Hears a Who! but Who in the World is a Mayor?
The Mayor of Who-ville plays a central role in this Horton story. Do your students understand the role of a mayor or know who their own mayor is? Find some newspaper or Internet photos of your own local mayor and use this fun book to inspire a fact lesson on community helpers and leaders.
– Who is our mayor?
– Where does our mayor work?
– What does a mayor do?
– What important projects in our area has our mayor worked on?
Wouldn’t it be grand if the mayor could visit your classroom and help them understand?
Maybe they could write the mayor a letter and if the mayor wrote back that would be even better!
Horton Hatches the Egg and Teaches about Hundreds
In this endearing Horton book Horton repeatedly tells readers,
“I mean what I said
And I said what I meant…
An elephant is faithful
One hundred per cent!”
Let this fun Dr. Seuss book inspire a math lesson about hundreds.
– Count to one hundred by ones, twos, fives, 10s and 20s.
– Count by hundreds up to 1,000.
– Write 100 in numbers and write one hundred in words.
Give Dr. Seuss a Hand – A Listening Game
This game is especially appropriate for preschool, kindergarten and first grade. It can really be played with any book by any author, but it works really well with Dr. Seuss books because he uses a lot of repeated words.
Before reading any Dr. Seuss book, give the students a specific word to listen for and tell them to clap once whenever they hear that word in the story. This is a great way to practice listening skills and keep a young audience interactive during story time.
For example, in The Foot Book the word could be “feet,” and in Horton Hears a Who the word could be “mayor” or “small.”
A lesson’s a lesson, no matter how small — Dr. Seuss’s books can inspire us all!