Dr. Seuss is one of the greatest authors of children’s books. His books not only keep children’s attention, but they also teach important life lessons. Every year, teachers worldwide celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2 with fun activities inspired by some of his most popular books. Here are three of our favorites!
1. Horton Hears a Who Elephant Face
Horton Hears a Who is the delightful tale of an elephant who hears a voice from a small flower. The other animals in the jungle cannot hear the voices and keep trying to do away with the flower because they think it is odd that Horton speaks to a flower. The lesson from Horton the Elephant teaches children to respect everyone, no matter who they are or what they look like. It also encourages kids to stand up for themselves even when others don’t believe them.
After reading the book, let your students make their own Horton the Elephant paper plate face!
The process is simple. First, have students use construction paper to cut out the ears, eyes, and trunk from the downloadable template. Give each student a paper plate and have them glue the eyes, ears, and trunk to the plate. Swap out the template eyes for some wiggle eyes for some added fun!
2. The Sneetches
The Sneetches is a wonderful tale about tolerance and accepting people for who they are rather than what you see. It also teaches kids not to do something just because someone encourages them. Read the book to your students and then discuss what they learned.
Then, lighten the mood by giving each student a star and playing a game of “McBean Says” instead of “Simon Says.” McBean is the main antagonist in the book. Give the students simple things to do, like “McBean says raise your star over your head.”
3. The Lorax
The Lorax teaches students the problem of pollution. When the Lorax tries to appeal to the “Once-ler” to stop chopping down trees and polluting the area with his factories, the Once-ler does not listen and causes the land to slowly die. You can use this as a very powerful tool to teach kids about recycling and other actions they can take to help the environment.
As a closing activity, let your students make their own Truffula trees. Get some brightly colored pencils and have students glue colorful pom pons onto the end of the pencil. At the end of the day, have them put the pencils together in a pencil cup or holder to create a forest.
If you’d like to go further to truly celebrate the environmental message from Dr. Seuss in The Lorax, you could start a recycled art contest for your classroom or school.
Other Ideas to celebrate Dr. Suess!
How do you celebrate Dr. Suess’s birthday in your classroom? You can prepare many different types of snacks and goodies in advance to throw a birthday party. Pinterest is a teacher’s best friend regarding cool crafts and activities, and many Pinterest Boards are dedicated to celebrating reading on Dr. Seuss’s birthday!