Celebrate Read Across America with Dr. Seuss on March 3

Cat in the HatMarch 1 is Read Across America Day, the largest reading event in the United States. People across the country celebrate the day with read-aloud, read-along, and reading marathon activities.

Sponsored by the NEA, Read Across America is always celebrated near March 2nd,  the birthday of   the author better known to most readers as Dr. Seuss, Dr. Theodor Geisel. To help you get in the mood, I’ve gathered lesson plans and family activities that use Dr. Seuss books across the grade levels, from EconEdLink, EDSITEment, ReadWriteThink, Science NetLinks, and Wonderopolis.

So grab your books and get ready to celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss.

Focused on Books by Dr. Seuss

  • Dr. Seuss’s Sound Words: Playing with Phonics and Spelling (for grades K-2)
    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?

  • From Dr. Seuss to Jonathan Swift: Exploring the History behind the Satire (for grades 9-12)
    Use 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.

  • Green Eggs and ...Economics? (for grades 9-12)
    Economic concepts are often found in places students have never considered, like children's literature. In this lesson, students will explore the various economic concepts addressed in five of Dr. Seuss’s most popular books.

  • Id, Ego, and Superego in Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (for grades 9-12)
    Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat is used as a primer to teach students how to analyze a literary work using plot, theme, characterization, and psychoanalytical criticism.

  • If I Ran the Zoo—Economics and Literature (for grades 3-5)
    In this two-day lesson you will use Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran The Zoo book to introduce the economic concepts to your students. You will also get the chance to use actual zoo criteria to help a zoo “choose” new animals.

  • Investigating Local Ecosystems (for grades K-2)
    Students investigate the habitats of local plants and animals and explore some of the ways animals depend on plants and each other. As an extension, they explore Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.

  • Play with Words: Rhyme & Verse (for grades K-2)
    Students listen to poems and rhymes, clap out syllables, and sing along with familiar tunes. They will also use puppets and crafts to help recall and retell favorite poems. Finally, students will write their own original poems.

  • Reading Everywhere with Dr. Seuss (for grades K-2)
    Young readers create a classroom book modeled after Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to celebrate all the places they can read.

  • Seuss and Silverstein: Posing Questions, Presenting Points (for grades 9-12)
    Students will enjoy this blast from the past as they read the works of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein to analyze the way social issues are addressed in selected works.

  • Teaching Short-Vowel Discrimination Using Dr. Seuss Rhymes (for grades K-2)
    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.

Family Activities

  • Have You Seen the Movie Yet? (for grades 6-8)
    Before watching a movie based on a book by Dr. Seuss, children can learn about filmmaking and create their own scenes based on their favorite moments from the book.

  • Let’s Go on a Reading Hunt! (for grades K-2)
    In this activity, children go on a hunt for places where they can read and enjoy books: on a family road trip, at the pool, at the doctor’s office.

  • Taking a Sound Hike (for grades K-2)
    Whether taking a sound hike at the mall, a near-by park, or on a family trip, ask children to notice the sounds they hear and then use sound words as they write their own books.

  • Writing Fanfiction (for grades 6-10)
    Writing stories that imitate a certain genre or type of fiction allows children to explore a book they love by imagining new twists for their favorite characters and plot lines.

If you want even more resources, check out the Read Across America Calendar Entry.

—Traci Gardner


[Photo: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss by katerha, on Flickr]


This post is the introduction from “July 11 to 16 on ReadWriteThink.” Read the rest of the post on Facebook.