Monday, February 25, 2013

Dr. Seuss and Rigor

I know a lot of people are doing Dr. Seuss units this week and I wanted to share some ideas I was going to use to spice up the critical thinking level a little bit.

I am fascinated by Dr. Seuss. I love his success story. He was actually voted Least Likely To Succeed by his college friends. He tried many times to get published before anyone actually let him. He started out in advertising because he had to have a job to pay the bills and was quite successful in that industry. He was also the quintessential prankster. Friends would come home to find their bathtubs filled with goldfish and Jell-O (I don't even know how you would get Jell-O out of your tub!). He and his wife lived in an apartment with a telephone number one off from the local fish store and would get calls from people ordering fish. Instead of telling them they had the wrong number he would draw what they ordered and deliver it to their house. Could you imagine! They said most people got mad about but how valuable those drawings would be today!

Anyway, back to rigor.

Critical Thinking: Would the Cat in the Hat act the same way without his hat?
What would a Texan Dr. Seuss story look like?
Write about another character-like Skippyjon Jones the way Dr. Seuss would.
Dr. Seuss Sudoku.
Create your own Dr. Seuss story (we'll do characters out of clay and try our hand at claymation again! :)

Ethics: Oooh-his books are filled with these questions. The Lorax and the environment, Sneetches and discrimination. I like to have them write about if how the Cat in the Hat acted was right and Maisy from Horton Hatches an Egg.

Multiple Perspectives: Write from the perspective of the egg Horton is sitting on, from the Cat in the Hat's hat. Compare the perspective of the trees from the Once-ler's perspective and the Lorax.

Over Time-how would the Cat in the Hat change over time (they need to use their imagination for this one-how was he as a child, how would he be when he's older). How did Dr. Seuss stories change over time?

Rules: What is always true of Dr. Seuss stories? Use those rules to create your own story.

Literature: There's a book called The Boy on Fairfield Street which is a pretty good account of his life. It's more geared toward like 2nd Grade and above but I've used it with my Kinders before.



  1. You just crank out one brilliant post after the next. Thanks for always reminding me to get my kids thinking outside the box!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  2. Awww thank you so much Laurie! It means a lot to me! :)