Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Lovely World of Seuss

Hands down, Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein show up more in my classroom than any other authors. They are creative, funny, filled with good language, and simply enjoyable for all people of all ages. Not to forgot that I also absolutely adore poetry! We spent a good two months on rhyme, similes and metaphors, types of poetry, and writing poetry.

This last year, we did a few activities to go along with Dr. Seuss and his wonderful books.We also did a lot of comparing of his style as well (going along right into our author study standard).

Yertle the Turtle
I had a lot of bullying in my classroom this year. With Yertle the Turtle, my students instantly connected his behavior with some of the behavior they had seen. We all agreed that Yertle wasn't a good king at all. Since we were working on quotes and vocal expression, each student figured out what he or she would say to Yertle if they were under him.

We put this together into a craft using paper plates, green construction paper, and the quote shape design on Word. Ie: Right here! Since we were also studying geometry, shapes, and symmetry, students needed to create a pattern. It was an early introduction to rotational symmetry for them!

Bartholomew and the Oobleck 
 What a better way to study Solids, Liquids, and Gases by reading Dr. Seuss and making the devastating Oobleck. Note: this is a dirty project but very enjoyable with the kids. You can usually clean up with just water and a paper towel, though the food coloring has been known to stain!

I've done it with corn starch and water and borax, glue, and water. Either will work. Just add some color and let kids enjoy!

The last time I did this:
- Quart sized plastic baggy per student
- Add about 1 part corn starch for 1 part water and mix slowly in the bag (I did about half a cup of each this last year, it spreads out or sinks and I didn't want too big of a mess if someone popped theirs open (which happened later in the day!))
- Add some food coloring and mix through it (I had neon colors and let the kids pick which, adding two or three drops and letting them mix and explore)

We also did some comparing between Bartholomew and Yertle. We thought both were bad kinds and Dr. Seuss likes to have "normal" people be good and help save the day.

The Lorax
Who doesn't read The Lorax for Earth Day or when studying natural resources? Well, I love it and students were really excited to read it this year due to the movie coming out. This made for some interesting discussions with my kids. "The book is based on the movie!" and "He did plant the trees, it was in the movie!" Since we were studying both of the above at the time, we used the lovely Mel D's Seusstastic Activities to write about how we will protect the earth.

To display these (right in time for conferences), I made the Lorax and some Truffala Trees to place around it in the back of my class. I projected some images onto the SMARTBoard, got out some construction paper, and traced the edges. It took a little while, but I couldn't draw that well without this great technology. I know other teachers that use their overhead projector for doing similar! 

Anyway, we read a few more, but here are a few activities we did. I just felt like posting some activities we did that connected literature and standards!

On a different note, it is most likely that I will teach Kindergarten next year. Boy, I'm both terrified and psyched for this experience! I will be spending a lot of my summer trying to collect resources, make activities, and learn as much as I can about effectively teaching Kindergarteners. If you have some clever Kindergarten ideas, management ideas, etc., let me know!

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