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Dr. Seuss Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about Dr. Seuss with this lesson plan. They will study two text lessons, take two follow-up quizzes, and participate in three fun hands-on activities to reinforce the newly learned material.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the personal life of Dr. Seuss
  • Explain some of the techniques employed in his books
  • Name some of Dr. Seuss's most famous works

Length

1-1.5 Hours

Materials

Key Vocabulary

  • Advertising
  • Cartoonist
  • Dartmouth College
  • Editor
  • Illustrator
  • Morals
  • Oxford University
  • Pseudonym
  • Repetition
  • Rhyme scheme

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.1

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

Instructions

  • Inform your students they will be studying legendary author Dr. Seuss.
  • Display an image of Dr. Seuss.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with his works?
  • Review key vocabulary terms.

Text Lesson One

  • Pass out copies of the first text lesson Dr. Seuss's Biography & Books: Lesson for Kids.
  • Read the introduction and the first section 'Meeting Dr. Seuss.'
    • What was his real name?
    • What did he originally wish to write?
  • Next read the section 'Young Life and Education.'
    • Where was he born?
    • Where did he go to college?
    • What two jobs did he work at there?
    • What is a pseudonym?
    • Where did he go to graduate school?
    • Did he finish?
    • What did he do instead?
    • Who did he meet in graduate school?
    • What did she encourage him to do? Why?
  • Now read the section 'Career and Successes.'
    • At first, did he make a lot of money as a cartoonist?
    • What did he do as a second job?
    • What famous publication featured some of his work?
    • For what large corporation did he write advertising campaigns?
    • For what other two companies did he create ads?
    • Can you name some of his famous books?
    • What awards did he win?
  • Lastly, read the section 'Lesson Summary', recap the first text lesson, and answer any questions of relevance.
  • Have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate their grasp of the material.

Drawing Activity

  • Inform your students they will be drawing a picture of one of their favorite Dr. Seuss characters.
  • Divide your students up into pairs.
  • Hand out colored markers and large sheets of poster board.
  • You can turn your poster board to a horizontal position or a vertical position.
  • You can use the Internet to find a picture of your favorite character. However, you cannot trace the picture.
    • You can be creative and draw the character with your friends, or in a school setting, or combine it with one of your favorite movies or television shows.
  • Finally, have the students share their drawings with everyone in the classroom.

Text Lesson Two

  • Pass out copies of the second text lesson Dr. Seuss's Poems: Lesson for Kids.
  • Read the introduction and the initial section 'Dr. Seuss's Poems.'
    • Did he have children of his own?
    • What are morals?
  • Next read the section 'Rhyme.'
    • What is a straight rhyme?
    • What is a half rhyme?
  • Now read the section 'Repetition.'
    • Can you give an example from one of his books that employs this technique?
  • Next read the section 'Morals.'
    • Did he deliberately try to add morals to his stories?
    • What did he do instead?
    • Can you name two specific examples of morals in his stories?
  • Finally, read the section 'Lesson Summary', review the second lesson, and answer any pertinent questions.
  • Have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate their comprehension.

Poem Activity

  • Explain to your students they will be creating their very own Dr. Seuss poems.
  • Divide your students up into five groups.
    • Group One, you will be Team Blue Eggs and Toast. (a spoof of Green Eggs and Ham)
    • Group Two, you will be Team The Dog in the Fog. (a spoof of The Cat in the Hat)
    • Group Three, you will be Team One Cow, Two Cow, Gold Cow, Green Cow. (a spoof of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish)
    • Group Four, you will be Team Horton Sees a Bee! (a spoof of Horton Hears a Who!)
    • Group Five, you will be Team Bad Day for Down! (a spoof of Good Day for Up!)
    • Now meet in your groups and write your own stories.
    • You can use the Internet to read or listen to the original stories for inspiration. However, your poems must be original and not just copies.
    • Each person in your group must contribute at least two lines.
  • Lastly, nominate a spokesperson in each group to read their creations to the entire class for the enjoyment of all.

Debate Activity

  • Let your students know they will be having a debate to determine which is the greatest Dr. Seuss book of all time.
  • Divide your students up into groups of 4-6.
    • Write down several of your favorite books by Dr. Seuss. You can use the Internet to find a complete bibliography by the year they were released.
    • List several reasons why you believe your choice is the greatest of his books.
    • Don't forget that many of his books have become television specials, movies, and musicals. Does this fact change your opinion on which book is best?
  • Pick a spokesperson from each group to present their findings.
  • Now have the students meet back up in one large group. At this juncture, anyone can chime in with an opinion.
    • Does anyone prefer a book other than the one picked by their group?
    • Do you have any more questions or comments about this debate?

Extension

  • Author Eric Carle has written over 250 books, and many people who like Dr. Seuss books also like to read his books. Write a two-page paper comparing and contrasting the two famous authors.

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