Want to celebrate Dr. Seuss, but not take away from learning time?
Here are some fun ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss that align with the standards you’re already teaching. It’s always more fun to have students make connections between silly Seuss stories and the content they’re already learning!
Ideas for Phonics Time
1. Rhyming (of course)
As you read, have students identify rhyming words or pause and see if students can guess the next word to finish a rhyme.
2. Sound Stretches
Students identify the sounds as they stretch each word from the book. Students “stretch” by tapping their head, shoulders, waist, knees and feet as they say each sound aloud. The book There’s a Wocket in my Pocket has tons of silly words to sound stretch!
“What sounds do you hear in zamp, ham, nink, or woset?”
3. Syllable Stretches
Some of our students have just been introduced to syllabication. “Stretching” the syllables from a Dr. Seuss book is a great way to practice identifying syllables! Students “stretch” by tapping their head, shoulders, waist, knees and feet for each syllable. Alternatively, kids could chair dip each syllable or do a karate kick for each syllable. For a challenge, can they identify the syllable type for each syllable in the silly word?
“How many syllables in wocket, oobleck, or diffendoofer?”
4. Sight Word Search
Reinforce identifying and spelling those tricky words that don’t follow the rules by having each student (or pairs of students) go on a search in a favorite Seuss book. Have students find as many sight words as they can in 10 min. When they find one, they can write it on the board to make a class list (reinforcing the correct spelling). At the end, read the list as a class to practice reading sight words too!
You could also search in Seuss books for blends, digraphs, vowel teams…there’s so many options!
Ideas that Incorporate Language & Grammar Skills
5. Parts of Speech Quest
Have students grab a book and go on a hunt for one (or more) of the parts of speech. Post-it notes work great for this activity. Students can list or flag the words they’ve found.
6. Seuss Class Dictionary
As you read various books have students create a list of all the words Dr. Seuss makes up, like: wocket, zamp, zizzer-zazzer-zuzz, shlopp. Then each student should make a dictionary page for each that includes a picture, the part of speech, and a definition. Students will have to rely heavily on context clues to figure out the meaning of Seuss’ made up words. For a challenge, students could also write a sentence that uses the word correctly.
Ideas for Reading
7. Explore Text Structure
Dr. Seuss’ unique writing style lends itself to wonderful discussions about text structure. After readying two different Seuss books, have students make a venn diagram analyzing the text structure of each. For older students, this could be a great time to introduce stanzas and couplets as well as identify the author’s use of rhyme, repetition and rhythm.
8. Plot Diagram or Story Map
After reading, have students create a story map or fill in a plot diagram. See if they can distinguish the rising action, climax, falling action and resolution in beloved classics like The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham, or The Lorax.
9. Secret Character Cards
To practice character analysis have each student pick a character from one of Seuess’ books. Give each student one piece of card stock (8.5” x 5.5” is perfect). On one side they write a description of the character from the character’s perspective. “I live in … I like to eat .. I look like…” etc. On the other side of the card stock students draw a picture of their character and write the character’s name.
At the end of class students trade cards and try to guess who the character’s are. This is a great activity for “thinking about the audience.” What clues will give enough information, but not too much? Maybe create one together as a class before having students work independently.
Ideas for Writing
10. Write a Response to Literature about one of Dr. Seuss’s books:
– Would you like the Cat in the Hat to come to your house?
– Oh, what places will YOU go when you grow up?
– What did you learn from The Lorax?
11. Create a Class Rhyming Book Modeled After There’s a Wocket in my Pocket
Re-write your own version of There’s a Wocket in my Pocket following the text structure. Each student can create and illustrate a page. Maybe your class will write There’s a Plable on my Table or There’s a Gool in my School!
12. Uses Seuss’s Word Play to Write Your Own Poems
An easy poetry prompt is to imitate is Green Eggs and Ham. Students can pick their own verb and follow Seuss’s words or make up their own rhymes.
How will your class celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday? Share your ideas in the comments!