Dr. Seuss Literacy Activities

Instructor: Joanna Harris

Joanna has taught high school social studies both online and in a traditional classroom since 2009, and has a doctorate in Educational Leadership

This lesson will include activities and opportunities for teachers to encourage literacy among primary school children. These ideas can be used by any teacher interested in creating their own activities to encourage literacy using the works of Dr. Seuss.

Ideas for Activities

For teachers who want to create their own activities to encourage literacy among students, here are a few ideas to use as a guide. Dr. Seuss's collective work gives teachers many possibilities for young students to explore the benefits of literacy. It is also a wonderful opportunity for classroom fun, and reading curriculum supplementation and reinforcement. Luckily for teachers, they don't have to recreate the wheel for lessons and activities from Dr. Seuss that encourage literacy.

The National Education Association has a Read Across America event each year that celebrates Dr. Seuss's birthday, his work, and how his work can be used to improve literacy skills among young students. Here are some lessons and ideas that teachers can use as stand alone activities throughout the year, or in tandem with Read Across America events.

Reading Contest

During a teacher-prescribed contest period, students can be offered the opportunity to read books by Dr. Seuss each evening, either independently or with their parent/guardian. Provide students with a reading log at the beginning of the grading period or semester. Reading logs should have a space for parents/guardians to sign as verification that their child has read each book.

Offer prizes and award certificates for each week in the contest period. For example, if the goal is for each student to read 5 Dr. Seuss books that week, those students who turn in a reading log with their 5 books and a parent/guardian signature each receive a prize or award certificate.

Consider the reading level of your students and the amount of time you have allotted for the contest when deciding the number of books to assign. At the end of the reading contest, you can also award major prizes like fidget spinners and fidget cubes to students who have read the most books and turned in the most reading logs.

Dr. Seuss Library Activity

Take your students to the library and search online for any Dr. Seuss book that has been turned into a movie. Students should make a list of Dr. Seuss books they find that are accompanied by a movie. They can check the book out of the library, or you can provide certain Dr. Seuss books you know have film counterparts. Encourage your students to read at least two of these books during the week of March 2nd, which marks the anniversary of Dr. Seuss's birth.

When students get back to class, or before going to the library, place students into groups at your discretion. Each group should have at least two Dr. Seuss books assigned to read for the week. Each group will read these books together during the week at times you specify.

Dr. Seuss Art Project

Teachers can assign students to groups at their discretion, or allow students to pick their own groups. Each group should pick two Dr, Seuss books to read first, and then complete an art project that compares and contrasts the two books. Once students have finished reading their books, provide them with the following materials:

  • poster boards
  • safety scissors
  • glitter glue
  • glue sticks
  • non-toxic, washable markers
  • crayons and colored pencils

Allot time in class for each group to finish their illustrations of one scene from both books. Instruct students to complete both scenes on the same poster board, creating a visual compare/contrast of their books. Have each group explain the two scenes on their poster boards to the class. Discuss how both scenes are similar and different while also explaining the plots.

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