One of my all time favorite early literacy authors is Dr. Seuss! I loved him as a kid, and I love him as a mom and educator. His whimsical characters, catchy rhymes, and cleverly woven lessons make his books fun to read and fun to listen to for kids and grown ups alike! His birthday is coming up next week, so of course we had to dive into some Seuss-tastic learning activities and read ALL the books! Don’t forget to pop over to my toddler post “Seussville” for more fun art and sensory play activities like making “ooblek” and a Fox in Socks craft!
-Letter of the week…C is for cat: This week we worked on the letter C for cat in the hat. Each day during calendar time we talked about it- Monday introduction, Tuesday my little practiced writing it on the board, Wednesday I had him think of words that start with C, and Thursday we did this C is for cat writing practice page!
-The Cat in the Hat story elements activity: We read “The Cat in the Hat” then I had my little identify the characters, setting, problem, solution and theme using this cute hat graphic organizer I printed. (Obviously I wrote his answers for him!)
-C- and -at family list making: I folded a paper in half lengthwise, folded the top down an inch, then unfolded it and traced the lines to make a T-chart. I broke the word “cat” into it’s beginning and ending sounds and wrote them at the top. Then I had my little brainstorm words that started with c- and ended with -at. I wrote down his ideas on the chart. (Pro tip: My little has a hard time thinking of words that start with the same sound. This is a trickier skill than rhyming because with rhyming all you have to do is change the beginning sound, so all the words kind of sound the same. When you’re thinking of words that start with the same letter, all the words are completely different other than that first letter. To help him along, I gave him a page of a book to skim for c- words. For the first page, I explained that chunks of letters put together are words. I pointed to each word on a page in turn and identified the first letter then said, “No, that’s doesn’t start with a C.” or “Hey! I that one has a C at the beginning!” Then I pointed to each word on a page and had him say whether it started with a C or not. Then I had him try it himself. This is called the “I do, we do, you do” strategy- it’s helpful for teaching anything new!)
-Dr. Seuss’s ABCs: We read the book “Dr. Seuss’s ABCs” and on each page my little and I thought of words that also started with each letter sound. You could also read through it and have them identify where they see each letter on each page (ie. for the A page have them find all the A’s)
-Dr. Seuss ABC flashcard ordering: We got a set of Dr. Seuss themed alphabet cards at the Target dollar spot a few years ago (they should have them now too- they usually have Seuss related things near his birthday- March 2nd). I gave my little the cards 6-7 at a time and had him put them in alphabetical order (we were missing letter I since it’s an older set, but still made it work!)
-Booklist: There are SO many great Dr. Seuss books out there! Here are the ones we read that weren’t tied to another activity this week- The Lorax is one of my all time favorites, but I’m saving all the activities that go with it for Earth Day!
-Seuss character count and circle: I printed this Dr. Seuss character count and circle from a free Seuss packet I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. Then I had my little count the number of characters in each box and circle the coordinating number.
-1 fish, 2 fish colored goldfish graphing: I printed this 1 fish, 2 fish graphing page, gave my little a handful off rainbow goldfish crackers and had him sort them onto the spaces on the graph by color. Then we marked the top box where the crackers were for each row and he colored the graph. Then I had him use the graph to figure out and write the number of goldfish for each color below the bars (there’s a little box for each one). Then I asked him questions about the graph like “Which color had the least? Which color had the most? How did you know that? Were any colors the same? How many goldfish did you have in all?”
-Dr. Seuss flashcard ordering: You can get Dr. Seuss flashcards right now at the Target dollar spot- they usually have them each year around his birthday (March 2nd)! We got a set a few years back, so we just used those! They came with 2 of each number, so I gave my little 1-10 and had him put them in the correct order while identifying each number. Then I gave him the second set of 1-10 and had him match them to the cards he had already organized.
-Cat in the Hat color by number: I printed this cat in the hat color by number activity then had my little complete it by identifying and coloring each number/shape on the page. It only has numbers 2, 3, and 4 on it though (which in hindsight he already knows 2 and 4 so I probably should’ve had him do a different one…) so you may want to choose a different page if your little already knows those numbers (or add a 1 to the front of each one to make them 12, 13, 14!)
–Social studies: Each day this week we read a different Dr. Seuss story that has a clear author’s message, or lesson he’s trying to teach young children such as “don’t be stubborn” or “little kids are people too”. At the start of the week we talked about what the term “author’s message” means, then after reading each story I had my little identify the message the story was trying to convey and wrote it down on chart paper. I’ve given you some ideas for what the message is, but your little may come up with something different and that’s totally fine! Often stories have more than one message if they’re well crafted! Here’s what my little came up with-
-The Sneeches: Even if people look different, they’re still people. Be kind to others.
-The Zax (located in the Sneeches book): Don’t be stubborn. Talk out your disagreements.
-Horton Hears a Who: Kids are people too. Be loyal to your friends. Stand up for what you believe in.
-Horton Hatches the Egg: Be faithful. Be persistent. Even when things are hard- don’t give up.
-“There’s a Wocket in my Pocket” character creation: First we read “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket” and watched the YouTube video of the guy rapping it because it’s quite impressive and just makes you smile (especially the guy in the background yelling out “MAMA!” on the scary critter parts!) Then I had my littles choose a character from the book to create using random craft supplies and construction paper. (Both of my littles decided to draw their characters and add face part stickers to them as accents).
- Dr. Seuss ABC flashcards
- Dr. Seuss number flashcards
- rainbow goldfish crackers
- various craft supplies
–Booklist: Although Dr. Seuss has written many classics, these particular books are the ones we used this week for lessons. We also read a bunch of his other books for story time, which are listed under the literacy section booklist.
- Wocket in my Pocket
- Dr. Seuss’s ABCs
- The Sneeches and Other Stories
- Horton Hears a Who
- Horton Hatches the Egg
- 1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
- The Cat in the Hat