Great Day for Up Lesson Plan

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

This lesson uses Dr. Seuss's 'Great Day For Up' to teach sorting and categories. The lesson includes large and small group activities as well as a creative writing piece.

Learning Objective

The objective for this lesson are as follows:

  • Given a set of objects, students will name a category to which they all belong.
  • Students will name a number of items that belong in a given category.
  • Students will sort common objects into categories.


One hour

Curriculum Standards


With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text


Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.


  • Category
  • Sort


  • Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss
  • Materials for writing and drawing
  • A beanbag or other object that can be tossed
  • Picture cards that can be sorted into categories or a collection of common objects/representative objects to sort into categories

Lesson Instructions and Activities

  • Begin the lesson by reading the story Great Day For Up by Dr. Seuss.
  • Discuss:
    • What kind of things go up in this story?
    • Was there anything in the story that you thought was funny? Confusing? Surprising?
    • Can you think of other things that could go up?
    • What kind of word is ''up'' (description, action, object, other)?

Story Categories

  • Review the concept of categories - objects in the same category have something in common.
  • Reread Great Day For Up, pausing on different pages to determine what category describes the objects on that page (or if there are any objects that don't fit into the category.
    • For example, the third page reads ''Up, heads! Up, whiskers! Tails! Up! Up! Great day, today! Great day for UP!'' The three items mentioned on this page all fall into the category of ''parts of a rabbit.''
  • Some pages will be tricky, but this is a great way to get kids talking and thinking creatively about categories and the characteristics of objects.

Category Beanbag Toss

  • Seat students in a circle. State the name of a category, then toss the beanbag to a student. That student should name an item in that category. The student then tosses the beanbag to another student, who names a different item in that category. After several items are named, switch categories.
    • For example, you begin with the category transportation, and students say car, truck, plane, bicycle.
  • If a student says something unexpected, ask for their thinking. Discuss with students that categories can be flexible, and some items can belong to more than one category, depending on why you are making the categories.

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