Sneetches 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.

Have you read 'The Sneetches' by Dr. Seuss to your students? This book is rife with social implications yet still fun, with its crazy made-up words. This asset offers multiple fun activities to get your students thinking deeply about and engaging with the story.

The Sneetches Activities

There is so much more to Dr. Seuss than funny rhyming words. All of his books teach an underlying lesson to children. The Sneetches is no different; it teaches children about the dangers and needlessness of discrimination.

These activities are designed to engage young children in fun activities that will get them thinking about the concepts presented in the book. Early elementary-school age groups are the targets for these activities.

Stars on Thars

The goal of this activity is to give your students a first-hand example of the Sneetches' behavior.

Materials

  • Star stickers (like those given as rewards)
    • You may want to use larger, laminated stars in order to repeat the activity without the need for further materials.

Instructions

  • Just before a normal interactive time of the day (like recess or free time), give about half of your class a star (save a few hidden stars to use later).
  • Ask your students to go on with their schedule, interacting like normal. Students may:
    • Voluntarily give each other stars
    • Keep their star, if they choose
    • NOT forcibly take stars from others
  • While students are casually interacting, secretly give a few extra stars to students without stars.
  • At the end of the interactive period, ask every student with a star to stand up. Choose volunteer students to answer:
    • Does it look like any of the students gave up their star?
    • Who do you think gave up a star?
    • Who do you know had a star to begin with and kept their star?
  • After a few students have answered questions about the original star holders versus the current star holders, ask the class if anyone noticed that there were more stars at the end of the experiment than at the beginning.
  • Discuss how it made students feel to have or not have a star.

Silly Rhymes

Rhyming is a great academic skill that helps students focus in on the final sounds of words. In this activity, students will get to make up their own silly rhyming words just like in the book.

Materials

  • Worksheet listing 10-20 words from the book in chart form. The top line should show:

Word Silly Rhyming Word Word the Silly Word Stands For
Stars Thars Theirs

Instructions

  • Hand out the worksheet.
  • Remind your students of when the word 'theirs' was altered to 'thars' in the book because it needed to rhyme with 'stars'.
  • Tell your students that they get to be Dr. Seuss and make up some silly words to force non-rhyming words to rhyme.
  • Instruct them to follow the example at the top of the chart and fill in the remainder of the chart.
  • Allow time for students to share some of their silly words.

Alternatives

  • Instruct your students to write a two-line poem with the first line ending in the word given and the second ending in a silly 'forced' rhyming word similar to the example in the Seuss story. For example (paraphrased from the text):
    • On their bellies some had stars; but others didn't on thars.
  • Allow students to work in groups and create posters of their funny words and meanings.

Was McBean Mean?

This discussion activity is designed to get your students thinking about the role of Mr. McBean.

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