Tag Archives: read across america

Read Across America and Dr. Seuss Texts

raa-2017-web-ad_180x150Take part in the largest reading event in the United States on Thursday, March 2! Gather books and readers for NEA’s Read Across America Day, celebrated on or around the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The books of Dr. Seuss are easy to integrate into the classroom:

Hop on Pop provides simple rhymes to help beginner reading, such as a character named Pat who sits on a hat, a cat, a bat and must not sit on that (which is a cactus). Through the contrast of short-vowel patterns and use of Dr. Seuss rhymes, students apply their knowledge of vowel sounds in reading and spelling new words in the lesson plan, “Teaching Short-Vowel Discrimination Using Dr. Seuss Rhymes“.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises! was written so children would be able to learn about onomatopoeia and the sounds that they hear every day. Boom! Br-r-ring! Cluck! Moo! In the lesson plan, “Dr. Seuss’s Sound Words: Playing with Phonics and Spelling” students use these sounds to write their own poems based on this book.

In Green Eggs and Ham, a character known as “Sam-I-Am” pesters an unnamed character to eat a dish of green eggs and ham. In the lesson plan, “Reading Everywhere with Dr. Seuss” young readers celebrate all the places they can read by creating a classroom book modeled after Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.

The Lorax chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax (a mossy, bossy man-like creature resembling an emperor tamarin), who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler. In “Using Picture Books to Teach Plot Development and Conflict Resolution” students explore the concepts of plot development and conflict resolution through focused experiences with picture books. A great example conflict passage comes from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax where the Lorax describes the plight of the Brown Bar-ba-loots.

In The Butter Battle Book, the conflict between the Yooks and the Zooks over which side of bread to spread butter on leads to an arms race, each competing to make bigger and nastier weapons to outdo the other, which results in the threat of mutual assured destruction. This lesson plan uses the Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book as an accessible introduction to satire. Reading, discussing, and researching this picture book paves the way for a deeper understanding of Gulliver’s Travels.

The Cat in the Hat brings his companions, Thing One and Thing Two, to a household of two young children one rainy day. Chaos ensues while the children wonder how they are going to explain what happens to their mother. This book is is used as a primer to teach students how to analyze a literary work using plot, theme, characterization, and psychoanalytical criticism in the lesson plan, “Id, Ego, and Superego in Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat“.

The Zax” is part of The Sneetches and Other Stories in which a North-going Zax and a South-going Zax meet face to face in the Prairie of Prax. They refuse to move out of the way for one another and end up staying there. This story teaches the value of compromise. In this ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan, older students will read “The Zax” and analyze the way social issues are addressed. Students can then discuss how these issues relate to the conflicts and social issues in their own lives.

How do you plan to celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America?

March 2 is Read Across America Day!

RAA_web_ad_2Take part in the largest reading event in the United States on Wednesday, March 2! Gather books and readers for NEA’s Read Across America Day, celebrated on or around the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The NEA shared teacher-tested ideas for celebrating reading. Here’s how you can integrate ReadWriteThink.org into these activities:

Door Décor
In “Opening the Door for Reading: Sharing Favorite Texts to Build Community”, students build classroom community by exploring environmental print and a teacher-created display that focuses on a favorite book or author, such as Dr. Seuss. They then create and share their own presentations.

Cook Up Some Reading Fun
Students can cook up red and white food or make green eggs and ham. They can get busy “Cooking and Creating in the Kitchen”!

A Chorus of Readers
It’s hard not to join in on a reading of a Dr. Seuss book! Boom! Br-r-ring! Cluck! Moo! Everywhere you turn, you find exciting sounds. Students use these sounds to write their own poems based on Dr. Seuss’s Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? in this lesson plan from ReadWriteThink.org.

Literary Field Trip
In “Reading Everywhere with Dr. Seuss” young readers celebrate all the places they can read by creating a classroom book modeled after Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.

Looking to get older students involved?

For background on Read Across America and for additional resources and information, visit the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry.

Want more Seuss-filled ideas? Visit last year’s post for more!

Get Ready to Celebrate Read Across America Day!

RAATake part in the largest reading event in the United States on Monday, March 2! Gather books and readers for NEA’s Read Across America Day, celebrated on or around the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. For background on the event and additional information, visit the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry, and use the following resources to explore reading and celebrate Dr. Seuss with students:

  • Parody: An Introduction through Poetry
    In exploring examples of parody and writing their own short parodies, students are drawn into a close examination of writers’ form, language, and style.
  • Id, Ego, and Superego in Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat
    Read Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat to your secondary or college students to introduce psychoanalytical criticism. The simple examples in the book can then be applied to more sophisticated works that students read.
  • Relationships with Literature
    This article from English Education describes how preservice teachers reflect on their personal connections to the texts they have read; one student connects to Dr. Seuss’s Great Day for Up. Invite preservice teachers to explore similar issues by reflecting on their own relationships to literature and the importance of encouraging students to build personal connections through events such as Read Across America.

Looking for more ways to celebrate reading?