“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss
OF COURSE while doing first grade author studies this year we would include Dr. Seuss! How could we not?! And when I planned out our year, I timed this study to end on his birthday so we could celebrate! The trouble, however, was that I didn’t write out each author study before we started the school year. I just didn’t have time! So I planned out the first one on Eric Carle, and most of the second one on Laura Numeroff, and some of the third one on Jan Brett. But the rest, I’m writing as we go. And since Jan Brett took us much longer than anticipated to get through, it only left us with a couple weeks to study Dr. Seuss. It just doesn’t seem like enough time to devote to such a popular and gifted author; the “father” of reading! But in a way, it was necessary to trim it down so that Abby wouldn’t get bored from taking too long on two authors in a row. (And it gave me a little break from writing units!)
So I didn’t do a formal “study” and I didn’t make her keep a journal. Dr. Seuss wanted reading to be FUN for kids. So I felt like I would be doing him a disservice if I bogged Abby down with extra work and made her dislike reading his books. How fitting that we took a “break” from our regular author study work and just had fun with probably the most fun children’s author of all time!
So for two weeks, here’s what we did:
We first scored our local library for Dr. Seuss picture books. Then I ordered the classics that weren’t in stock from the database (love that system!). The first week we spent time just getting to know his books and having fun reading the rhymes. We read Horton Hatches an Egg and Horton Hears a Who (which they instantly connected to the their favorite Christmas movie, “The Grinch”). We also read The Lorax and then watched the movie OnDemand right afterward. They loved making connections between the book and movie and did it all on their own! (Talk about fun, informal LEARNING.) I also introduced them to his books “written as Theo LeSieg” such as I Wish that I had Duck Feet and I’m NOT Going to Get Up Today. We read many others, too!
The second week was National Read Across America Week and I was a little more intentional about what we read. We started with the classic, The Cat in the Hat. Then I had Abby write (in her regular writing journal for school) about what she would do on a rainy day. Abby read Hop on Pop to us and I had Noah do other rhyming activities to go along with the book. We had our own “Wacky Wednesday” and they LOVED that book! We visited my grandparents so Abby could read to them and I bought them their own Dr. Seuss book: You’re Only Old Once, A Book for Obsolete Children. That book is so funny and the perfect gift for an “aging” couple or person in your life! (Children don’t get it so although it looks like a children’s book, it sort of isn’t. haha) My grandparents loved it! On Friday, (Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday) I made eggs and ham for breakfast and gave each child a “table setting” coloring page to work on at the breakfast table while I read Green Eggs and Ham. (Abby read it on her own later. The thing about Dr. Seuss books is that even though they’re pretty easy to read, mostly… they’re long. That is a turn-off for Abby because she doesn’t like sitting still for long periods of time to read. But it was nice to see her pick up some of his books and read them herself anyway!) We also made celebratory cupcakes and the kids played on the Seussville website in the afternoon.
Our “culminating activity” (in lieu of writing a book in Seuss-style) was a family trip to the Springfield Museums on Saturday for their Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash! We toured the Seuss museum, and the science, art, and history museums where we met the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch!
This was such a fun and relaxing unit. I love when I see learning in action without all the effort. So fun!! 😉
“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of the telescope.” ~ Dr. Seuss