Last week was Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and I had the opportunity to share some stories and activities with students. Including a surprise visit on Dr. Seuss’ birthday to share a story with two grades of students. The school librarian called and invited me to come read to 4th and 5th grade classes to help celebrate Read Across America. I’d already planned a pre-school visit for 11 am, so I wanted to squeeze this visit in before. So I had to find something I could share with these kids that wouldn’t take more then 10 min. This was harder then it seemed, because most Dr. Seuss stories are long, and could take twice as much as that easy! So I decided to read And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street which is both one of my favorites and much shorter.
It was interesting to read the same book for each class because no two classes reacted the same. One fifth grade class had a girl who just kept saying “that would be crazy messed up!” While one of the fourth grade classes had a group of girls whose response to my question about what could be added to the story Marco invents was to say “you could turn the page, that would make the story better!” Some kids had the book and followed around, while in one class kids muttered that they hated that book. My favorite part was asking the kids what things they could add to the parade to make it more exciting. There were lots of creative suggestions, a potato, dragons, missiles, talking animals. I hope that the kids take the message of the book and look at the world to find all the exciting things there are to see!
It was Dr. Seuss’s birthday last week, and we went all out to celebrate one of our favorite authors. Not only did we host 2 second grade classes to present stories, activities, and crafts, but we held a party, and are continuing our festivities by going to a Spanish immersion program (my assistant is the Spanish speaking one, she is actually the one doing that program).
Our first program was a returning group of 2nd graders, the same students who came to learn about Shakespeare last month. The teacher left the topic up to me, and I was going to share books from the county reading program. When the teacher heard about our Seuss program, however, she requested I share Seuss with her students.
I started with some stats on Seuss. There is a nice bio of him here. I especially liked the information about And To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street my favorite Seuss book. It was his first book, and received 27 rejections before it found a publisher. Seuss based the scenes in the book on streets from his childhood home, even the name of the street is a real place in Springfield Massachusetts. After reading the book we worked to create a story together. All of the students walked down the block from their street, so we started
“As I walked to the library today, I saw a ______________. It couldn’t be a _________________. No, no. What I really saw was _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________. And to think that I saw it all on the walk to the library!”
I encouraged the students to help me build on what they saw to create a story of their own.
After that, we talked about how the things we could have seen made us feel. Then I introduced one of Dr. Seuss’ last books My Many Colored Days, which we read and then wrapped up with a quick craft. I had wooden stick people and tissue paper. The kids could color the stick to represent their emotions.
I’ll post more about the other programs later!