Dr. Seuss's Poems: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mel Green

Mel has taught elementary, special education and high school english. She has a master's degree in education.

Dr. Seuss was an author and illustrator. His poems and stories have been made into anything from well-known movies to inspirational quotes for your bedroom wall. Today, we will look at rhymes, repetition and morals in some of his poems.

Dr. Seuss's Poems

Dr. Seuss lived to be 87 years old. Though he never had children of his own, he created wonderful poems for children all over the globe to enjoy.

Dr. Seuss's stories can seen as tales of fiction but also as standalone poetry. This is because he not only used narrative methods such as leaving important messages (called morals) in his writing, but he also used poetic techniques such as rhyme and repetition as well. We will look at these three techniques in more detail now.

Dr. Seuss, also known as Theodor Seuss Geisel
Dr Seuss


Dr. Seuss often used simple rhyme schemes to create a rhythmic pace to his writing. A rhyme scheme is a pattern where the words at the end of each line in a poem rhyme. There are many ways to do this. Let's look at how Dr. Seuss used rhyme.

In One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Seuss uses words that rhyme exactly - called straight rhymes - to create a simple rhyme scheme:

One Fish Two Fish excerpt

In this poem, lines 1 and 2 rhyme, lines 3 and 4 rhyme, as do lines 5 and 6. The rhyme scheme in this poem is called AABBCC.

However, Dr. Seuss did not always use straight rhymes. He sometimes played around with words by using half rhymes - two words that sound alike but don't rhyme exactly, to add a different rhythm to his work. We can find an example of this in Yertle the Turtle:

Yertle the Turtle excerpt

Say the words 'thundered' and 'hundred' out loud. You should be able to hear that they do not completely rhyme with each other.


Dr. Seuss created poems that are easily sung or chanted. He was able to do by using repetition in a variety of ways, such as reusing phrases in several lines of the poem. Sometimes he even repeated a whole paragraph.

In Green Eggs and Ham, Seuss created repetition by using the same phrase over and over:

Green Eggs and Ham

Do you see the repetition? Every line but one contains the phrase I do not like them...

Now look at the rhyme scheme of this stanza. It has the same pattern as above: AABBCC!

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account