Lesson 2


1. To read books written by Dr. Seuss aloud and silently, in pairs and groups.

2. To identify setting, characters and story plot of Dr. Seuss books.

3. To understand elements of various writing styles.

4. To use graphic organizers to compare and contrast the writing style used in Dr. Seuss books.

5. To identify elements of a book review.

6. To write a book review of a Dr. Seuss book.

7. To deliver an oral presentation.

8. To share reactions to Dr. Seuss' books via a collaborative e-pals
book review project with students in another state.




1. Listen to audio clip of Dr. Seuss describing his writing philosophy. What is Dr. Seuss' writing philosophy?

2. View trailers for The Cat In The Hat movie and The Grinch. Who are the main characters in each story? Listen to the stories being told to be able to describe the meter and pattern of the rhymes in each story. For example: In The Cat In The Hat the rhyme scheme follows this pattern: A B A B (the first line rhymes with the third and the second line rhymes with the fourth).

3. Create a word wall of rhymes in which rhyming words are grouped by same ending.

4. Create a KWL chart like the one below. Elicit from students information that they already know about Dr. Seuss' writing style.




Rhyming words are used. What is the sentence structure like? Simple and complex sentences give a rhythm to the stories.
The books are humorous. What are some themes used? Words and phrases are repeated.
  What makes the books humorous? The central theme on each page is continued onto the next page.
    The theme of the books is stated in a simple sentence on the first pages of the books.
    Longer phrases on some pages break up the choppy sentences on previous pages.
    Dr. Seuss makes sense out of nonsense.
    The books are written in a narrative style.
    Political and moral messages are used.
    Seuss writes his works in the third person. 
    The unexpected should be expected.
    Life lessons such as how to achieve your goals are taught.
    Categories of Dr. Seuss's books include fables such as Yertle the Turtle , fairy tales such as The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins , and outlandish, exaggerated tales such as If I Ran the Zoo.
    His rhyme schemes are simple but he has created for us a slew of outlandish names and places.
    Satire is used.

2. Read And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss.

Elicit answers to these questions from the students:

What genre does this book belong to?

What rhyme scheme is used in this book?
What is the setting of this book?
What are the characters like?
What is the problem of this book?
How was the problem solved?
What lesson did you learn?


The following web sites will be used to research information about writing styles.

1. http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~rmm9977/LiteraryRelations.htm

This web site compares the writing styles of Dr. Seuss and Laura Numeroff.

2. http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~rmm9977/NarrativeStyle.htm

This web site describes and gives examples of the narrative style of Dr. Seuss.

3. http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~rmm9977/Theme.htm

The underlying themes in Dr. Seuss' books are explored.

4. http://www.carolhurst.com/authors/drseuss.html

In addition to a biography of Dr. Seuss, an analysis of his writing style can be found at this site.

1. Students are assigned to one of six literacy groups and assigned roles. Each group will read one of the six Dr. Seuss books listed above. Roles include readers who read the book aloud to the group; recorders who take notes onto the chart below; and reporters who share the information found with the class.



What age range is the book written for?  
How would you describe the writing style?  
What are the characters in the story like?  
What theme runs through the book?  
Why is this book still charming?  
What is the setting?  
What is the plot?  
What lesson is taught in the book?  

2. Students use this sequence chart or story chart to put the story events in order. A sample may be found here.


1. Students share information about Dr. Seuss' writing style. Create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting writing styles in two of the books. (From these Venn Diagrams, the whole class may compare and contrast all of the books read in one or two large Venn Diagrams.)

2. Students rotate the books so that each group has a chance to read each book. Student roles rotate within the group as each book is rotated. Students play "Name That Book" a game in which one group presents an event which takes place in one of Dr. Seuss' books. The other groups guess the book. (An example might be: In which book does Sam I Am get another character to enjoy a new food?)

3.  Log onto http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/bookrev/challenge.htm to learn the steps in writing a book review. Steps include: Describe the setting; Describe the main characters; Give your reader a "taste" of the plot without giving away the ending. Each group will write a book review for one of the books read. These book reviews will be shared as a collaborative project through epals with Mrs. Willard's third grade class at Rochester Elementary School which is located outside of Topeka, Kansas. (Teachers can use the free service of www.epals.com to locate other classes for collaborative projects.)

4. Students dress up as a character from one of the books and give oral clues to the class that describe the character. Students in class guess the character and the title of the book.


During this lesson the teacher meets with each group for guided reading. The teacher uses the Narrative Text Form to evaluate the progress of each group. Guided reading questions the teacher might ask each literacy group include:

Where and when does the story take place?
Which part of the story best describes the setting?
What is the place like?
Could there be a place like this in real life?

What are the characters like?

Who is the most important character in the story?
Do any of the characters do things you think are good/bad? Explain why.
Do the characters change in the story? How?
What are the main events of the story?
Were you able to guess what was going to happen next? What clues did you use?
Can you think of another way the story might have happened?
How did the story make you feel? How did the author make you feel this way?
What was the funniest thing that happened?
What did you like and/or dislike about the way the author has written the story?
What unusual words or expressions did the author use in the story?
How did the author describe the characters?
Were there any unusual ways of saying things? Give examples.
Why do you think the author wrote this book?
Have you learned a lesson from reading this story? What is it?

Follow Up:

In Lesson 3, students will explore the illustration style of Dr. Seuss.

Related Activities:

1. Students may do word activities in which they follow rhymes ending the same way as those in Dr. Seuss books. Students can create their own words using the rhyme pattern and write and illustrate what the word means.

2. Students may take an online quiz related to characters and events found in many of Dr. Seuss' books at http://fi.edu/fellows/fellow7/mar99/probability/seuss_book_quiz.shtml

3. Students can use printable forms to take a survey on their favorite Dr. Seuss books at http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/survey.htm and graph with their results at http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/graph.htm. Students can make a printable version of their written reactions to favorite Dr. Seuss books at http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/favbook.htm and favorite characters at  http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/favchar.htm and make an advertisement for a book at http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/ad.htm. Favorite Dr. Seuss scenes may be recorded at http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/favscene.htm

4. A printable word search can be found at http://abcteach.com/Reading/suess/wordsearch.htm

5.  A recipe for Green Eggs and Ham is available at http://seussville.com/seussville/titles/greeneggs/recipes.html

A recipe for oobleck is available at http://teachingheart.net/bartholo.html

A recipe for decorating a Cat In The Hat hat is available at http://auburn.wednet.edu/homepages/ilalko/Seuss.htm/hat

6. Online math, science, reasoning, and reading games featuring to Dr. Seuss characters may be found at http://seussville.com/seussville/university/

7. Math word problems based on material from Dr. Seuss books are found at http://mathstories.com/bookstories/Book_12_Dr_Seuss.htm

8. Printable Dr. Seuss cards and directions for card games are found at http://auburn.wednet.edu/homepages/ilalko/Seuss.htm/ Cards

9. Links to activities and lesson plans to use with Dr. Seuss books including: The Foot Book, Dr. Seuss' ABC, The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholmew Cubbins, Green Eggs and Ham, Yertle The Turtle, The King's Stilts, The Butter Battle Book, Horton Hears A Who, Horton Hatches The Egg, The Shape of Me And Other Stuff, Hop On Pop, If I Ran The Zoo, The Lorax, The Cat In The Hat, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck can be found at: http://teachingheart.net/thedrsuesspage.html and


10. The events of The Cat In The Hat as told by the fish can be read at this site. Students might write story events in one of the Dr. Seuss books they have read as told by one of the story characters. http://cat-in-the-hat-merchandise.com/fishs-eye-view.htm

Additional Teacher Resources:


Teacher chat board where questions may be posted regarding Dr. Seuss books and other related items.

Home Page Lesson 1: Who Was Dr. Seuss? Lesson 2: What writing styles are used Dr. Seuss' Books? Lesson 3: What illustrations styles are used in Dr. Seuss' Books? Lesson 4:  How can we write a story using the writing and illustration styles of Dr. Seuss? Student Writing Standards Addressed Credits

Developed by Carolyn Hornik, 2003  TeachNet