A fun idea we do for March is Reading Month is have a Cat in the Hat Day! Most everyone comes dressed in black, red and white which is pretty easy for our school because those are our school colors.
A lot of our teachers take 10 minutes out of the day and have their students make an alternating red and white ABAB patterned Cat Hat to wear, but the big finale is we all assemble outside where our principal somehow manages to climb on the roof of our school and reads a page out of the book!
You may not have a principal as wonderful, wild and willing as ours, but nevertheless planning a day around Seuss's famous cat is a rather easy and fun theme day to spark marvelous memories for a child and motivate students to read.
Here are a few things that I do:
Get parents involved:
I want my parents on board and I find that if I have some sort of contest going on that often helps. I send home a letter letting them know that March is Reading month and that I'd really like them to make some quality time to read with their child. Just a few moments right before bedtime is a rewarding experience for both of them.
I read a study while I was in college where they surveyed all of the inmates on Death Row in the early 80's and discovered that one of the things they all had in common was that none of them had ever been read to as a child! Hmmmm something to definitely think about.
The challenge for them is to read as many books as they can, write the name of the book on their Cat in the Hat-hat and see how tall they can make it! At the end of the month we'll display the hats and give a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize for the tallest hats. (Most books read!) Click on the link to view/print the letter and hat stack.
I dress up:
You don't have to, but my students always enjoy my costumes. They are really easy to make. Here I just drew the cat on a piece of white felt with a black marker and then outlined it with lots of black puffy paint around the edges.
I glued it on my black jumper with "no sew" fabric glue. I did the same thing with the red felt bow and his hat stripes and red puffy paint. I wrote Cat in the Hat with white puffy paint around the hem of my jumper and then wore a blouse. I scrunched up a piece of red felt and knotted it with red ribbon to make my bow tie. I hot glued 4 red poker chips together, wrote the letters R-E-A-D on each one with black puffy paint and added white puffy paint details to make my pin.
My Cat in the Hat necklace is a Christmas ornament hung with black 1/8th ribbon, and my hat is from Oriental Trading. You can't see them, but I have red and white striped socks on, and black-red- and white comfy oxford-looking slippers. Tah Dah! I'm all set. If you can't draw, trace the cat from a book, enlarge it and use tracing paper to apply it to your felt.
Theme your lessons:
Everything I do that day is themed around cats and hats. Because of Seuss licensing and copyrights I can't share. I simply scan my book and buy coloring books and stickers to make my lessons. We review the at family and make a hat slider. Click on the link to view/print the templates and directions. Cat in the Hat Skill Sheets + Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat -at family slider
I designed 2 games that we play in the afternoon in lieu of Free Play Center Time. Again because of licensing I can't give you the template for the spinner. I made Stack The Hat from stickers, which you can do; Or make a copy of the cat and Thing 1 and 2 from your book.
Use my photo as a guide. I've included the cat, which I drew as well as his stacked-hat playing piece. Students roll the dice and try to get the red stripes to complete his hat, but watch out for those naughty things. If you land on them, you'll have to put one or two of your stripes back in the Baggie!
The other game is called On A Roll With The Cat in the Hat! Students partner up like Thing 1 and 2 and work in pairs. If a child rolls a 1,2,4, or 6 they can move their playing piece forward because they are behaving like the fish and 2 good children in the book, but if they roll a 3 which spells the 3 letters in C-A-T they must move their playing piece backwards 3 spaces because people who are naughty in life generally are not successful and don't move forward.
Likewise with a roll of 5, which spells T-H-I-N-G, you'll find yourself losing a turn, for children who don't make wise choices need a time out. The first student to hop through all of their hats and reach the cat is the winner. Click on the link to view/print these Cat in the Hat games and directions.
If you do decide to do a Cat in the Hat Day I hope it's simply Purrrrr-fect!