Horton Hears a Who Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

While Dr. Seuss books are always fun, they are great educational resources as well. This asset offers multiple active and thought-provoking activities to get your students thinking deeply about the concepts presented in Seuss' 'Horton Hears a Who'.

Horton Hears a Who Activities-Benefits

Horton Hears a Who is a classic children's tale of adventure and bravery. Horton challenges the status quo and follows his heart in the face of ridicule. Besides the social aspect of the story, the rhyming aspect of the story is great to help children learn rhyming words and the concept of poetry with rhyming. The activities offered here are designed for children in early elementary, grades 2-3.

Rhyme Time

This activity will get your students up and playing while they practice their rhyming words.


  • Copies of the book
  • Clear packing tape
  • Small strips of paper
  • Large beach ball


  • Have students use the book to choose a single word.
  • Instruct your students to write their chosen word on a small strip of paper. Remind them to write neatly.
  • Tape all the words to the ball.
  • Have your students stand in a large circle.
  • Say one of the words taped to the ball and then throw the ball to any student in the circle.
  • The student who catches the ball must move to the center of the circle and say a word that rhymes with the word called out before.
  • Now, the student with the ball must look at the ball and say the word that is facing him/her before throwing the ball to another student. This student moves back to his/her spot while the new student moves to the center.
  • Continue having students pass the ball, each time to a student who has not yet had a turn, until everyone has had a turn to produce a rhyming word.


  • If you are unable to form a circle, the ball can be bounced around the classroom as students remain at their own desks.

Character Matters

Remind your students that Horton stood up to a bully and went against everyone in the neighborhood to do what he thought was right, even when everyone thought he was crazy.

In this activity, students will try to be like Horton.


  • Cards with age-appropriate social conflict scenarios, one for each group
    • Example: A new student comes to class and no one wants to be his/her friend
    • Example: A student trips and spills his/her lunch on the floor


  • Divide your class into groups of 4 - 5.
  • Give each group a scenario card.
  • Allow your students a pre-determined amount of time to discuss the scenario and what each would do in the case of the scenario being true. Encourage them to discuss:
    • What would Horton do in this scenario?
    • Would it be hard to do the same thing as Horton? Why or why not?
    • What could the consequences be?
  • Now, instruct each group to come up with a short skit to act out the scenario and their agreed upon response to the scenario.
  • Allow time for the groups to perform their skits. If time allows, consider conducting a class discussion with each group leading their own scenario discussion for each scenario.

Description Rhyming


  • Worksheets showing images of the main characters in the story
    • The image could be a small image in the top corner of the page or
    • A large outline style image covering the page with room to write inside the image

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