I know his birthday falls on the weekend, but I love to do author studies-- so we will have him as our theme next week. I wanted to share some of the ideas I am including in my lesson plans to add a little rigor to our activities.
1) Cat in the Hat Over Time-the kids fold their paper into 3's-the middle one is Cat in the Hat from the story, the first when he was little and the last what he will be like in the future. They have to use their imagination for the past and future-did he ever straighten up and become good? Was he like that even in elementary school?
2) Ethics-lots of great stories to do these including the Lorax and Butter Battle. I also like to discuss specific events. The last line of the Cat in the Hat is, would you tell your mom what happened? Was it right to push green eggs and ham so much on a friend? The possibilities for discussion or journal entries are endless!
3) Creating their own Dr. Seuss character-since so many are just made up names and silly images. I've even had them do this with clay! :)
4) I like using Multiple Perspectives-but not really the obvious ones. Like what was it like to be the Cat in the Hat's Hat? Or comparing the perspective of Trufula Trees from the point-of-view of the Once-ler, fish, Barbaloots and the Lorax-I have them do 4 parts of a big bubble map-how are the perspectives different? Perspective of the Green Eggs and Ham-I mean, no one wants to eat you-how does that make you feel?
5) One book that I discovered a few years ago was this one:
It's a little long for the little ones, but what I like about it is the persistence it shows Dr. Seuss had. Even though many people told him his "doodles" were worthless, he still became one of the most famous children's authors ever. I think it leads to a great discussion on reaching for your dreams.
6) How about a new use for the Cat in the Hat's hat or Green Eggs?
7) Have the kids design a new and improved hat for the Cat in the Hat. Or substitute a new garment-the Cat in the polka-dot shoes-would that change any details in the story at all? Instead of the Grinch who stole Christmas-what about the Grinch who stole Valentine's Day or Easter? Does that change the details of the story at all?