A Week of Dr. Seuss - Printable Mini-Unit
March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday and, if you haven't already, it might be nice to include some of the famous author's works in your lesson plans - they're quirky, colorful, and inspire some pretty great activities! April Larremore, kindergarten teacher and creator of the blog Chalk Talk, has put together a spectacular mini-unit that will take some of the guess work out of your planning. Here are a few of our favorite activities:
Big A, Little a, What Begins With A?
Using Larremore's page template, create an alphabet book as a class. Assign each student a letter, invite them to script the letter in the blanks on the page (paying attention to the proper case), then, armed with graphic art tools, brainstorm and draw as many objects as they can that start with that particular letter. To finish - print the cover of Dr. Seuss's own 'Amazing Alphabet Book' to use as the book's cover, mount each page onto colored construction paper, laminate, and bind each piece together to create a fantastic classroom keepsake book!
The Foot Book
Introduce your students to a new form of measuring using foam feet instead of rulers and measuring tape. Larremore suggests using Feet by the Foot™, a set of 12 colorful feet "rulers", to measure how tall each student is. Have students take turns lying on the floor while another student volunteer lays the feet 'heel to toe' in order to determine height. Keep track of each student's height for graphing - either draw a bar graph on the board or have you students participate to make a "human bar graph" (i.e. write height values on the board and have your students line up in front of the correct measurement). Compare and contrast the bars using terms such as "less than", "more than", "most", "least", "average", etc.
I Wish I Had Duck Feet
Discuss the special qualities a duck has that makes them well suited for pond living (i.e. webbed feet for swimming, waterproof feathers for staying warm and dry, etc.). Invite students to think of other animals that have unique qualities:
- Fish have gills that allow them to breathe underwater.
- Chameleons change color in order to hide from predators.
- Cheetahs have long lean bodies and long tails to help them stay balanced and run fast.
The list could go on and on. After the discussion, have students choose an animal part they'd love to have for a day and describe (with drawings and words) their reasons why. Provide students with construction paper and other craft supplies and help them fashion the particular part to use during pretend play. Oftentimes, it will take quite a bit of creativity and problem solving to create the qualities and you're sure to have many giggles along the way!
Oh the Places You'll Go!
Larremore suggests having your students create hot air balloons, adding a picture of themselves in the basket. On the back or as a journal prompt, invite them to describe where they would go in their hot air balloon. [NOTE: It could be fun to have your students write an adventure book about their day in the air - what they saw, who they met, where they stopped, what they did, etc.] To add in a bit of geography and reintroduce the concept of sequencing, invite your students to map their adventures, drawing an item of intrigue to represent each stop on their balloon ride!
For more great lesson ideas to go along with Dr. Seuss's famous works, be sure to visit Larremore's full post at Chalk Talk!