If I Ran the ZooIf I Ran the Zoo is probably the easiest long book of Dr Seuss in comprehension effort for younger children. They will delight in watching the main character’s imagination expand with every page as he creates more and more fantastic creatures. One obvious activity for this book is drawing and describing your own magical animals. My daughter loves doing that, especially since she is not particularly good in realistic drawings and doesn’t have to worry about perfection:
KC Edventures has a great list of games inspired by Dr. Seuss books, including one for If I Ran the Zoo. You can also download a free creative writing worksheet for If I Ran the Zoo from Have Fun Teaching.
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
Mulberry Street is somewhat similar to If I Ran the Zoo in concept of the character whose imagination finds reality unacceptably boring. I think illustrations look more “vintage” here, which is not surprising, since it was Dr. Seuss’ first book for children. It’s hard to believe that this book is more than 75 years old by now! Teachers Pay Teachers has a great free creative writing printable for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and Coffee Cups and Crayons took the book to real life making Imagination Spy Scopes.
Sleep Book is a perfect bedtime book for older kids. It will let them procrastinate listening to or reading a rather long story, and in the end they will be yawning for sure. I am yawning right now, just looking at the cover image. Fun in First has a fun Sleep Book craft as an extension activity, but my daughter was always fascinated by long numbers thrown around in this story and the description of an Audio-Telly-O-Tally-O Count. I want to challenge her to invent her own Tally-O-Count, but if you plan to get some real math done while reading this book, here is a great active game to teach place value from Creekside Learning.
Bartholomew and the OobleckEven those of us who never read this book have probably heard about the oobleck. This starch and water concoction is probably only eclipsed by baking soda and vinegar in its popularity of sensory activities for preschool children. Bartholomew and the Oobleck, however, is not a preschool book. For once, it’s rather long, and, unlike most of Dr. Seuss’ books, is written in prose. Secondly, it’s sort of darkly humorous story that might be beyond full comprehension for even older elementary school kids. This post, also from Fun in First, has a good introduction of oobleck and a free printable that you can use to connect this science activity with writing.
I have mixed feelings about the Lorax movie, because The Lorax happens to be one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. Again, I admire that Dr. Seuss managed to weave a lot of lessons for adults into the story targeted to children, and I wish that the Lorax were taught again in higher school grades. The Lorax is an incredibly popular with bloggers, but I want to recommend a very thoughtful Lorax lesson plan from Lemon Lime Adventures. It covers reading, writing, science, and more.
The Butter Battle BookThe Butter Battle Book is less known Dr. Seuss book, perhaps because it’s clearly targeted to an older audience. It was published in 1984 when the Cold War was still going strong, and it was hard to imagine that in a few short years the Wall will come down. It tells a tale of ever escalating mistrust and arms race between two groups who consider their differences irreconcilable. My daughter enjoyed this book since she was about 5, and it’s still her favorite, perhaps because it’s rather open-ended. Making up your own ending would be a good activity for this book, or you can check out The Butter Battle Book lesson plan ideas from Web English Teacher.
What is your favorite Dr. Seuss Book?
More Books for Kids?
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