Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
How it works:
This unit is a study on the life of
Theodor Seuss Geisel and of the whimsical style of Dr. Seuss's writings and
illustrations. Students compare and contrast stories, characters, and
illustrations in various Dr. Seuss books and write a review of one of the
books read. The reviews are shared with third grade students at the
Rochester Elementary School, which is located outside of Topeka, Kansas.
Students create their own illustrated rhyming stories modeled on the
style of Dr. Seuss. While Theodor Geisel passed away in 1991, "Doctor
Seuss" has attained a near-mythological status and he therefore lives
on in the hearts and minds of his readers. In this spirit, students write letters to Dr. Seuss wishing him a
happy Seuss Centennial in which they describe their original
Students read and comprehend books by one
author and in the same genre, read aloud fluently, produce a
response to literature and a work in one genre that follows the
conventions of the genre, respond to fiction and poetry using interpretive
and critical processes, participate in group meetings, prepare and deliver
oral presentations, and demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in
written and oral work. They analyze and subsequently revise work to
improve its clarity and effectiveness, use electronic media to gather information for research purposes, use word
processing and drawing applications to write and illustrate original work,
demonstrate comprehension of simple stories and a knowledge of story
elements, and develop and present basic analyses of works of art.
Required materials include computers with Internet access, a
printer, and word processing, drawing and painting applications.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! is suitable for students in grades three through five. Since the work is
done in cooperative groups, students with varying abilities in the areas
of reading, writing, researching, and computer skills work well together.
Students read books to analyze and appreciate the
writing and illustration styles of Dr. Seuss. They use the
Internet to research the life of Theodor Geisel as well as his writing and
illustration styles. Students develop writing, editing, and drawing
skills as they synthesize the styles of Dr. Seuss into an original student
story, and they reinforce oral presentation skills while presenting those
stories to the class. Letter-writing skills are refined as students
write letters to Dr. Seuss in which they describe their original stories and send one-hundredth birthday greetings.
It might be beneficial to have a whole-group lesson in which students write an original class story using the
style of Dr. Seuss before students break up into groups to write an
original group story.
Carolyn Hornik has been a New York City public school teacher for twenty five years (12 years as a classroom teacher in third, fourth, and fifth grades and 13 years as a technology coordinator.)
She teaches in-service courses for the New York City Board of Education After School Professional Development Program and on-line courses for new teachers through
Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10
Subject: English, Social Studies
Beginning Grade Level: 4
Ending Grade Level: 8