Although Theodore Seuss Geisel's first successes came as a political cartoonist, he is better known as Dr. Seuss, one of the most famous children's book authors of all time.
No wonder Dr. Seuss books are classics. From the zany characters that grab the attention of tots, to the rhyming and rhythm that engages pre-readers, to the word play that builds comprehension for beginning readers, to the timeless messages that appeal to any age, Dr. Seuss is a hit.
What other author can write books that are as popular at baby showers as they are at college graduations?
So, it is no surprise that the National Education Association (NEA) sets its Read Across America Day to coincide with March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
"Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too! On March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult."
Three fun Dr. Seuss books are available with the Tag Reading System: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and Mr. Brown Can Moo (Tag Junior).
Grab your favorite, read the book, and then try some of these fun activities!
The Cat in the Hat
- Make the Cat's Hat: Cut out two tall hat shapes out of poster board. Then, cut strips of red and white paper. Children should glue the strips of paper to each of the hat shapes in an alternating pattern. Then, staple the hat shapes together to fit the child's head. (Arts & Crafts, Mathematics / Learning Patterns)
- In or Out?: Cut out pictures of some of your child's favorite activities or toys, you can use examples from the book, and then paste them to a chart showing whether you do the activity indoors or outdoors. Talk about why certain activities can be done indoors while others should be done outdoors. (Categorizing, Pro-Social Skills)
- Balance Game: Using a plastic plate and soft toys, have children see how many objects they can balance. Now see if they can stand on one foot and keep the objects from falling. (Kinesthetic Learning / Movement)
Green Eggs and Ham
- Rhyming Games: Using refrigerator magnet letters or toy building blocks with painter's tape, build some of the rhyming words in the book. Start out with one word and then remove the first letter and replace with another. Can you build more rhymes? For example, start with "rain" and add the "t" to form "train." Now experiment and see what other words ending in "ain" you can create, such as "gain," "pain," "plain," "main." When you take into account other endings with the same sound, you can also create words like, "cane," "lane" and many others. Use other common endings to create your own pairs. (Language Arts)
- Make Green Eggs: Scramble some eggs with green food dye and have the children try a bite. Caution: Make sure no one is allergic to eggs before trying this. (Home Arts)
- Try It, Try It: Make several pitchers of sugar water or lemonade. Add food coloring to all but one of the pitchers. Ask the children to predict how each of the drinks will taste and record their hypotheses. Then, have them taste each drink and record their reactions. Which tasted the best? Which tasted the worst? Why? Reveal that each drink is identical except for color. If the students thought the drinks would taste different or even found differences in the taste test, ask why that might be? (Science)
Mr. Brown Can Moo
- Sound Effects: Use ordinary objects around the house to create some of the sounds Mr. Brown can make or try to make some of your own. For example, shake a flexible cookie sheet to make thunder. Make a rain stick out of a cardboard tube and dried rice. (Music)
- Animal Sounds: Play a version of charades where you guess the animal based on the sound it makes. (Science, Theater Arts)
- Onomatopoeia: Most of the sound words in Dr. Seuss would be classified as onomatopoeia. What other words can you think of that imitate the sound they represent? (Language Arts)