Creative Seuss Celebration with Multi-Grade Collaboration
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
Celebrating Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day is a fun and engaging way to get faculty and students excited about reading. Seuss activities abound with all the resources you need for a Dr. Seuss Author Study to Ooblec Creations in science class. What to do when your kids are just a tad too little for major crafts or a tad too big for Hop on Pop? Combine classes for a celebration that teaches leadership and language.
On our Read Across America Day, our students were challenged to read as many AR books as they could. This meant participation could be tracked, so each class was dedicated to doing their best. I paired my eager fourth graders with Mrs. Laubenthaul’s kindergarten class to celebrate in Seuss style. Our goal was for every child to be engaged while reading throughout the entire day. It can be hard to hold student’s attention sitting still for that long, so we needed a quick enough activity that our day was still dedicated to reading independently.
Divide and Conquer
Dressed in our Seussical best, we split our students for two hours during the day: one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. This helped to effectively break up the day. Our better readers were partnered with our lower readers, so that even my struggling fourth graders could lend their expertise in reading to the kindergarteners.
In the kindergarten room, Mrs. L. read The Cat in the Hat to the class and then let the students do a quick coloring activity. Once finished, the big kids either listened or read to younger partners and helped them log onto the computer to take tests. This freed the teacher from the task of computer management and let her enjoy reading with her kids.
The day before we celebrated together, I walked my students through the steps to make a truffula tree. It was important for them to try their hand before guiding younger kids through the process. It also helped make them attend to their young partners, instead of worrying about their own tree. We also read The Lorax and discussed its important message. When students came to my room, they watched the animated 1972 version of The Lorax. Animation helped students listen to the entire book whereas the squirmies might have invaded reading such a long story to the younger kids.
After watching, my students helped the younger partners go through the steps to make their truffula tree. Once finished, partners shared a truffula cupcake decorated with cotton candy wisps on top of paper straws.
Before and after the day of fun, my students wrote in sequence about the steps to creating a truffula tree, how to be a good partner, and we studied the environmental commentary made by The Lorax. We finished the week by painting Seuss-style fish and writing about our Day on Mulberry Street. I’m proud to say my students tested on a record number of books that day, but I’m more proud of the young leaders I saw reading and educating nascent students. I think it’s something even the good doctor himself would have appreciated.
Need even more reason to celebrate? Check out fellow blogger Genia Connell’s ways to celebrate the joy of reading all month long, Alycia Zimmerman’s bookish celebrations, and then travel the world with Shari Edwards and Seuss!
Some other Super Seuss Sources
What special activities and events do you do to celebrate with Dr. Seuss?