Here is how we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day
PJ DAY! (If we were going to be reading all day, we might as well be comfortable!)
My morning message to my students: I just used a red and black white board marker.
We started out with a Dr. Seuss read to self, for 20 min. and did 1 more that afternoon
I borrowed about 20 Dr. Seuss books from the library, and had many of my own, but I also asked families to label theirs with their student’s name, and bring them in too! So we had over 50 titles for students to choose from.
The first whole group activity that we did was to graph sight words in The Cat in the Hat.
I chose a few students to listen for the sight words and make an X each time they heard it. Half way through the book we stopped and made a prediction about what word was going to win… Then I switched to new students, to give more kids a turn. In the end we discussed the graph and answered some great math questions about it like:
-What word had the most
-What word had the least
-How many more did ____ have than ____
They LOVED this activity, and it got them tuned into sight words.
Hop on Pop bubble wrap
Though not a direct link the the book, after a whole group reading of Hop on Pop, to get out wiggles out, we all jumped on bubble wrap. Our challenge was to as a class try to pop all of the bubbles! it was great fun!
The Sneetches life lessons
My favorite Lesson for Read Across America Day is always The Sneetches. I love doing this lesson, though it can be difficult, because I feel like this is one concept that sticks with my students.
1. Read The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss while stopping every few pages to make connections to the student’s real life. Ask questions like “how do you think the not star belly sneetches feel?” or “How would you feel if that was you?” really go slow with this read aloud and take the time to invite connections from your students.
2. Randomly divide the class in half. Half of the students get stars on their hand. These students get extra treatment. For example my “star sneetches” were aloud to get drinks of water whenever they wanted, they got to choose one of my stuffed animals to carry around, and they got to line up first.
3. After or at lunch I set aside some time for reflection. How did it feel to be a “star sneetch”? How did it feel to not have a star? You will be surprised to hear what your students say. Then we switch, and the not stars get stars, and we repeat this activity for the last half of the day.
4. Finally, with some time to spare at the end of the day, we do a final reflection. We really talk about what if feels like to be treated differently because of something you have or don’t have. The students are able to draw up some great text-to-self connections. I ask them what they think we should do about the stickers. And usually, without my suggestions we get the current star sneetches off to the garbage to toss out their stars to make things fair.