“For 20 years, the National Education Association has promoted reading across the nation in a Dr. Seuss birthday celebration! It’s traditionally celebrated on March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, for a simple but important reason—Dr. Seuss’s skill with rhyme and whimsical use of nonsense makes his beloved books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful readers. When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a clear message to our children–that reading is fun and important!” — NEA.org
This national celebration is not just about one day of reading FUN! NEA’s Read Across America is about discovering the joys of reading and cultivating good reading habits that will last kids a lifetime! Here at Johnson School, we are encouraging our students grades K through 4 to participate in the Dr. Seuss Reading Challenge! During the month of March any students who READ while completing 5 of the activities below in a row, will receive a Paw-print Sticker and a Small Prize! Complete ALL of the activities and we will add your picture to the Dr. Seuss READ Wall Of Fame!
Click here for a printable version of this Calendar: Dr. Seuss Reading Challenge
Tips for Reading with Your Children
Developing a love for reading begins at home, and Dr. Seuss’s words and pictures will make it fun for you and your child. Get started with these tips below!
—Taken from Seussville.com
Pick a comfortable spot to read in – one with plenty of light.
Make it a routine – whether it’s right before the breakfast, or right before bed,set aside a special time every day.
Give lots of encouragement! Read the words aloud to your child. Point to the pictures. Say the words together. Laugh with your child.
The fun continues after the last page! When you finish a story, ask your child about his/her favorite passages, characters, and illustrations.
Imagine that! Encourage your child to make up another character that might appear in the book. What would it look like? What would it say? What would you call it?
Letters and words are here, there, and everywhere! Dr. Seuss
was a master of words, real and imagined. When you’re driving with your child along a familiar route, read the signs aloud.
Make your next trip to the grocery store an interactive one—read the names of food items aloud with your child. Make up new ones!
Age ranges on Dr. Seuss series are simply a guide that will get you started. Once you see what your child is comfortable with, pick new books as necessary.
Making it FUN
There are so many fun “Seuss” activities and games for you to do at home with your kids! You can find activities, games, crafts, and even recipes in Dr. Seuss’ honor at: http://www.seussville.com/parents/
Dr. Seuss Ties In With Our Core Values
At Johnson School we:
Take care of ourselves
Take care of each other
Take care of the environment
Here are some books to honor Dr. Seuss while challenging third and fourth grade minds:
The Lorax is an excellent book about environmentalism. The Once-ler comes to town with a successful factory, but what will happen to the truffula trees and the animals? Teachers can incorporate an opinion writing piece deciding whether students think this would have a positive or negative effect on the environment.
Yertle the Turtle reminds us to be grateful for the gifts bestowed upon us and not to be greedy. Yertle the Turtle is a selfish turtle who uses his fellow turtles to expand his kingdom. While he ignores the pleas of his fellow turtles he ends up at the bottom of the pond in the mud.
In Bartholomew and the Oobleck, we are reminded that three simple words, “I am sorry” can go a long way.
The Sneetches dispute who is better, the Star-Bellied Sneetch or the Plain-Bellied Sneetch. When they realize that being different is what makes us each special they become friends.
Dr. Seuss Benefits for Older Kids
In addition to the deep topics and discussions that come with them, here are some of the benefits of using Dr. Seuss books even with big kids:
- Fluency—many Dr. Seuss books have a fun rhythm and rhyme scheme. They are great for practicing fluency.
- Comprehension—There are a ton of comprehension skills and strategies applicable to Dr. Seuss, and many that are on a third grade reading level or higher.
- Poetic Elements—Dr. Seuss is the king of alliteration. You will also find onomatopoeia and of course rhyme.
- Love of Literature—the books are full of fun words, characters, and fantasy places. It is easy to get wrapped up in a book and want to read more.
- Creativity—Dr. Seuss books highlight and encourage creativity. They are great for your out-of-the box thinkers, and well everyone else, too.
- Life Lessons—Similar to Aesop’s fables, Dr. Seuss books are chock full of lessons. Lessons about diversity, acceptance, environmentalism, all wrapped up in colorful and inviting pages.
- Fun! Face it, Dr. Seuss books are humorous, creative, and fun for kids of all ages.
Adding STEM with Dr. Seuss
Pair Literacy and Science with these activities:
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish activity:
Teach students about the effects of real life oil spills on our environment. Try this activity at home or in the classroom:
A Bartholomew and the Oobleck activity:
*Parents, a fun activity at home to tie in this book is making slime. Kids and adults love to play with slime.
Basic Slime. Mix one tablespoon of borax powder with one cup of warm water. Make the mixture in a quart (950 ml) jar. Continue to stir it until the borax is completely dissolved.
For more STEM activities that tie in with Dr. Seuss, we recommend checking out this website:
Thank you for visiting our Literacy Blog! Come back soon to see pictures of all the “Seuss” fun that is happening at Johnson this month.
– Elena Capaldi & Elizabeth Falvey, Kindergarten Title One Teachers