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A Dr. Seuss Curriculum

By Fran Wisniewski

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as "Dr. Seuss," wrote and illustrated 48 children's books including The Cat In The Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Geisel was born on March 2, 1904. His most famous children's book, The Cat In The Hat, was published under his pseudonym, "Dr. Seuss," in 1957. So, 2007 marks the 50th birthday of Dr. Seuss!

We invite you to celebrate with this Dr. Seuss Curriculum that includes fun activities themed around some of his beloved books. Of the 48 books written by Dr. Seuss, nine of them have been chosen for this curriculum. Each book selection includes a fun, book-related activity to do with your child.

And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street!

Dr. Seuss's first book actually started out as poem and was later turned into a storybook.

In the book, Marco is walking home from school, when his imagination goes a bit wild! Suddenly, the boring becomes the extraordinary and a simple horse-drawn-cart becomes a chariot being pulled by a zebra! Before you know it, the little horse-drawn-cart changes into many other exciting things! When you are finished reading the story, help your little one to use their imagination with this activity:

Imagine That! (Language Arts: Imaginative Story-telling)

This activity will help your child use their wonderfully creative imagination.

You'll need:

What to do:

Curl up with your child in a comfortable place, and open up a picture book. Look at the pictures together and talk about what's happening in each one. If there are words on the page, don't read them, simply allow your child to tell you the story based on what they see in each picture.

Ask your child questions to help guide them through each page. For example, if you have a picture of a teddy bear pulling a wagon full of blocks, ask your child where the bear is going or where he/she has been and why he/she has a wagon full of blocks! Ask your child what the bear's name is and what kind of day it is. Encourage your child to use all their senses by asking what smells are in the air, what the weather is like, how the grass feels, and what sounds can be heard.

As long as your child is willing to play along, keep on asking questions or listening as the story unfolds. You'll be pleasantly surprised by your child's creative answers!

Keepsake Tip: Write down your child's words, or use a voice or video recorder to capture the moment.

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Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham is one of the most enjoyable and fun books written by Dr. Seuss!

Sam is trying to get his friend to eat green eggs and ham! Sam asks him if he will try them in a box, with a fox, here or there, anywhere! Will Sam get his friend to eat green eggs and ham? Read and find out! Children will have fun learning the rhythm and rhyme of this classic story in no time! Here's an activity to further the learning...

Places Everyone! (Arts and Crafts)

Are you planning to try green eggs and ham with your child? Your child can make a place setting for himself and a friend with this activity.

You'll need:

Directions:

Ask your child to draw something on each piece of construction paper. Next, ask your child to glue a paper plate, fork, and cup to one page. Then, ask your child to cut out some of their favorite foods from a magazine (or store flyer) and glue them to the appropriate places on the mat. For example, a picture of an egg would be glued to the plate, while a picture of orange juice would get glued to the cup. This place setting can be served to a favorite stuffed animal or toy.

Now have your child decorate the other piece of paper to use as his or her own placemat.

Variation: Cover with contact paper or laminate before using as a place mat.

Next, make green eggs and ham! When you're ready to serve, ask your child to use their decorated page as a place mat.

Hop On Pop

This is a terrific rhyming book and first reader for young children.

Here is a fun activity that you can do with your child to help them learn to rhyme.

You'll need:

Directions:

Cut out pictures of objects that rhyme and ask your child to glue one picture to each index card.

How to play:

Ask your child to match the pictures that rhyme (or sound alike) --for example, car and star.

Variation: Substitute real toys or objects that rhyme instead of using pictures glued to index cards.

More Rhyme Fun: Choose a few words that rhyme and make silly sentences up with your child. For example: The cat sat on the hat to get the rat!

The Cat In The Hat

This is Dr. Seuss' most famous book! In one scene, the cat juggles and balances a bunch of objects while standing on a ball! Needless to say, everything comes crashing down around him and makes a huge mess! The fun and chaos begins when the cat calls for the creatures called Thing 1 and Thing 2 to lend a helping hand! When all is said and done, everything is put back into place. But what happens when The Cat In The Hat Comes Back? I hope you'll read both of these great books with your child and find out! Here's a fun activity to extend the learning...

Balancing Act!

Can your child stand on one foot while balancing an object with their hand? Try balancing on one foot, then the other. Once you get the hang of it, try holding a light-weight, unbreakable object (paper plates or cups work well) in one hand while you balance on one foot. How long, and how many objects can your child hold before loosing their balance? Another idea is to try and keep a balloon floating up in the air while simultaneously balancing on one foot! Take turns doing this activity together.

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

This is a fun book about reading in a lot of different and challenging ways. Before reading the book, tell your child you would like to try something a little different, and ask them to close their eyes while you read the story. (No peeking!) When you are finished, talk about the book. What did your child think about the story? What kind of pictures do they think are in the book? After talking about the story, read the book again, and allow your child to see the pictures this time. Compare the pictures they imagined with the actual pictures in the book.

Tip: Use a book your child has never seen before.

Note: Your child may not "see" any pictures in their mind at first, but if you continue doing this activity with other books, this ability will develop in time.

Dr. Seuss's ABC

When you finish reading this alphabet book, ask your child to choose a letter and spend the day doing as many activities as possible beginning with that letter. For example, if your child chooses the letter, "B", eat "B" foods such as bananas, bread and berries, then blow bubbles, bounce a ball, and wrap it up by reading a bedtime story!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

When you are finished, do the following activity with your child.

You'll need:

Directions:

Give your child a serving of crackers in a bowl and ask them to separate the crackers by color. Count how many crackers are in each color pile with your child. The most delicious part of this activity is "subtracting" just ask your child to remove a cracker from a pile and eat it. How many are left?

The Foot Book

This book is about opposites, positions and directions. As you read the book with your child, act out or show your child the position or direction mentioned. For example, show your child where her left and right foot is, compare your big feet to your child's small feet, and then, bring your foot up high and then set it down low. When you are finished reading the book, make up some silly activities to do with your child such as...

More Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss on Audiobooks:

Dr. Seuss on Video:

Dr. Seuss Sites: