Dr. Seuss Lesson Plan for Preschool

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany is a certified Special Education and Elementary teacher with 11 years experience teaching Special Education from grades PK through 5. She has a Bachelor's degree in Special Education, Elementary Education, and English from Gordon College and a Master's degree in Special Education from Salem State University.

This lesson plan uses Dr. Seuss books to teach preschoolers about the story elements of characters, setting, and events. The plan includes interactive group activities and art.

Lesson Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the terms character, setting, and event.
  • identify characters, setting, and events in a picture book.


  • Approximately two hours, which could be broken up between multiple days

Curriculum Standards

Literacy: 4.0 Comprehension and Analysis of Age-Appropriate Text

  • Demonstrate knowledge of familiar story details (e.g., characters, settings, events, and event sequences).

This lesson plan is based on California standards for preschool education. Please refer to the standards for your state to check alignment.


  • Story Elements Lesson for Kids text lesson and accompanying quiz questions
  • Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
  • Character pictures or objects for Horton Hears a Who
  • Event cards for Horton Hears a Who
    • Each card should have a drawing that depicts a main event from Horton Hears a Who (one event on each card). For example, cards could show Horton listening, a Who yelling, Horton finding the clover, Horton talking to other animals, all the Whos shouting, etc.).
  • Several books that you have read recently to the class
  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • Paper with picture frame outlines
  • Drawing materials, materials for cutting and gluing
  • Large piece of bulletin board paper
  • If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
  • Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
  • Event cards for Horton Hatches the Egg

Instruction and Activities

Horton Hears a Who

  • Read the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who.
  • Read the first two sections of the Story Elements Lesson for Kids.
  • Discuss the characters from Horton Hears a Who. Ask students to identify the main characters of the story and list their key characteristics. Use pictures or objects to represent the characters to make it more tangible (e.g., an elephant, a small person, etc.).
  • Read the Setting section of the text lesson. Invite students to make observations about the setting of Horton Hears a Who, using descriptive words to identify it.
  • Read the Events section.
  • Show students the prepared event cards and ask them to help put the events in order.
  • Read the Problem and Solution sections. Discuss the problem in Horton Hears a Who, and then talk about its solution.
  • Read the Lesson Summary, then ask students the quiz questions. Invite students to use examples from Horton Hears a Who to illustrate and describe each story element.


  • Ask students how many story characters they can think of.
  • Give each student one of the books you have read in class recently. Ask them to look through the books and try to identify the characters in each story. Allow students to share with the class their story and its main characters.
  • Read The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.
  • Give each student one of the prepared picture frame papers. Ask students to draw the characters from The Cat in the Hat inside the picture frames.

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