Dr. Seuss Math Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

Chances are, your students love Dr. Seuss and all of the silly characters in his books. This engagement can help when it comes to a subject that might make students a little nervous: math. Use these activity ideas to engage your students in math through Dr. Seuss books.

Why Dr. Seuss?

Do your students love Dr. Seuss? Most kids are enchanted by his nonsense words, inventive rhyming, and fun characters. This interest can be a great place to build on other areas of academics that students might struggle engaging with. Math can be a source of stress for some students, and using Dr. Seuss books might be a way to engage these students.

Use the following activities to teach your students about counting, patterns, place value, and more! When you're doing these activities in your class, it can be helpful to read the book the day before, and then review the book quickly before doing the activities. Many students benefit from hearing books over and over, so this is a great opportunity to help your students literacy as well as math.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Have your students count and sort the different fish in the book. As a small group, they can go through the book and mark down how many times they see each fish, then create a graph that shows how many of each type of fish there are in the book. After your students have created their graphs, gather them together and discuss the trends that they noticed.

The Lorax

After reading the book, pass out pictures of the different characters in the book, including multiples of each one. You might include the Lorax, the Onceler, the boy, Brown Bar-Ba-Loots, and Truffula trees. Have your students use the characters to make different patterns. You might start by showing them ABAB patterns, and then AABAAB patterns. Encourage your students to start with the patterns you discuss together, and then try to make more and more complex patterns.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

This book can be used to teach your students about place value. Give your students a sheet of 500 hats, and have them cut them into groups of 1s, 10s, and 100s. Then, challenge them to make 500 in as many different ways as possible. They could make 5 hundreds, 50 tens, 500 ones, or any other combination. Students should write down the different ways they made 500 and then be prepared to share at least one of their ways.

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