Use the activities and lessons in this collection to have fun teaching with Dr. Seuss's unique characters, imaginative tales, and rhythmic language.
These activities are taken from Teaching with Favorite Dr. Seuss Books published by Scholastic Professional Books.
The rhyming words in Dr. Seuss stories make them perfect for activities that build sight vocabulary. Try this mystery word activity to help children make connections between the language they hear and the words they see.
- After sharing a Dr. Seuss story, write pairs of sentences on sentence strips.
- Use a large sticky note to cover one of the rhyming words at the end of a line.
- Together, read the lines aloud, pointing to each word as you say it. When you get to the covered word, ask children to predict what the word is.
- Lift the sticky note to let them check their guesses.
Use Dr. Seuss stories as inspiration for playful displays that build vocabulary and enhance writing skills.
Ask children to be on the lookout for words that sound like their meaning. Some examples are oom-pahs, toots, and chirp (from Horton Hears a Who!) and plop, bump, and thump (from The Cat in the Hat).
- Build a word wall with such words and introduce the term onomatopoeia. Children can illustrate the word wall to add visual clues.
- Invite children to listen for alliterative language in the story. After reading, revisit some of the alliteration in the story. Let children have fun saying the words with emphasis on the repeating sounds, such as “Ben bends Bin’s broom,” from Fox in Socks.
- Create a display for children to post favorite alliterative lines. Encourage them to use the display as a writing resource.
Let students practice the conventions of dialogue in their writing by playing with some of the dialogue from Dr. Seuss stories.
- Copy dialogue on sentence strips.
- Cut apart the quotation marks, punctuation, and dialogue tags.
- Use Velcro to attach the pieces to tagboard.
- Place the materials at a center, and let children put sentences together to show who says what.
Dr. Seuss stories feature some of the most memorable characters in children’s literature. There’s Horton, who lives in the Jungle of Nool, the Cat in the Hat and his trademark tricks, Sam and his green eggs and ham, the Sneetches — both the Star-Belly and Plain-Belly sort, Yertle the Turtle whose kingly ambitions go a little too far, and more. Explore the characters in various Dr. Seuss stories with this guessing game:
- Invite children to choose a favorite character.
- Ask children to pretend to be that character and write a set of clues that describes who they are. Have them start with general clues and get progressively more specific — for example, I live in a jungle. I like to swim. I have a trunk. I have big ears. I am determined. I searched a big field of clovers for my small friends. I found them on the last clover and kept them safe.
- Let children take turns reading aloud their clues one at a time, giving classmates a chance to guess their identity after each clue.
Creating a map of a story challenges children to make connections between characters, setting, and events.
- Have children brainstorm characters and places in a story.
- List these on the chalkboard or chart paper.
- Model the activity by making a map that incorporates children’s suggestions. Then let children make their own map, generating a list of characters and places for a Dr.Seuss story and incorporating them in a map.
- Have children use what they know about the setting to make inferences and fill in the details of a map. For example, in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, the boy describes what he sees on his way to and from school. The school is never pictured, but children can infer that he arrives and include the school on their map.
The Dr. Seuss Picture Dictionary
Learn about all sorts of words — even the made-up kind — with this activity.
- As you share Dr. Seuss stories, have children look for words the author makes up, for example, moof, miff-muffered, gruvvulous, rippulous, snergelly, and snarggled (all from The Lorax).
- Write the words on chart paper.
- Invite children to choose a word from the list to add to a picture dictionary.
- Have them write the word on paper, illustrate it, and then write a definition.Then have children help arrange the pages in alphabetical order.
- Bind with O-rings or paper fasteners so it’s easy to add new pages.