1-2-3 Come Do Some Seuss-Themed Writing Prompts With Me
Louis L'amour said: "Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." However, if "It's time to do some writing..." is greeted with a cacophony of classroom groans, it's definitely time to fuel your students' imaginations, peak their interest, and tweak what they write, so that they'll WANT to.
Many Dr. Seuss books, lend themselves to interesting and fun writing prompts. (For a complete list of his books, scroll down to yesterday's article.) Today's blog features some of my most popular, Seuss-themed, writing prompts. Hopefully, writing time, will be met with the more harmonious and intellectual sounds of engaged and busy minds happily working away.
After reading Dr. Seuss's ABC book, create a silly, creature-filled class-made alphabet book. Print and trim the mini letter tiles. Toss them into a Seuss hat. Students choose one, glue it to their page and think of a creature that starts with that letter.
Stress imagination and creativity. These should be made up creatures like the ones that Dr. Seuss thought of. Younger students can simply name their animal and draw a picture.
Encourage and challenge older students to make a rhyming sentence, using plenty of tongue-twisting alliteration like Dr. Seuss.
For example, Zz is for a Zigglewag who likes to play wiggle tag. He eats zinnias, zingles and zag, all of which make me personally gag. or Bb is for Boomtoot, who's from Bangladoot and likes to eat fruit, especially bapples, belon and bloot.
The packet includes a page for students and one for the teacher, a sample, plus 26 Seuss-font letter tiles.
Another Alphabet book I think your students will enjoy making is On Before Ant. This is a take off of Dr. Seuss's book On Beyond Zebra, which is about all of the letters that come after Z. In the beginning of the story, Cornelius is bragging that he knows all of the letters from A to Z.
He's shocked to find out that there are more! "Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor, when I picked up some chalk and drew one letter more. A letter he never had dreamed of before..." like the letter Snee, which is for "...sneedle, a terrible kind of ferocious mos-keedle. Whose hum-dinger stinger is as sharp as a needle. "
All of these goofy letters have a name and symbol. I thought it would be fun to make a class book of all of the pretend letters that might possibly come before the letter A.
Run off copies of the inside page and have students think up a letter, design it, and then give an example of something that starts with that letter, finishing up with an illustration. After students share their work, collect the pages, collate and make into a class book.
Another interesting writing prompt, has to do with Seuss's book If I Ran The Circus.
The packet includes a class book with two writing prompts to choose from, as well as a 3D cylinder "craftivity."
Students color and cut out their circus tent and then attach their completed writing prompt paper to either side, so that they can bend it into a cylinder shape.
The photo shows the various views of a completed project. Punch holes on either side, add a yarn loop and suspend from the ceiling.
For that finishing touch, children add a toothpick flag, and then choose either a clown or a ringmaster to color and glue their photo on top of that face, so that it looks as if they are peeking out of the tent flap.
Two more writing prompt "craftivities" go along with Seuss's book, Oh The Places You'll Go. Ironically, this was the last book published before his death in 1991.
On the large bucket, students think of 5 places they want to visit.
They write the place, followed by what they want to see or do there.
On the small bucket, students think of all of the things they'd like to do.
This can be for the month, year, in 5,10,20 years, or a list of all that they want to accomplish in their lifetime. Completed projects make terrific bulletin boards.
I've also designed a 3-dimensional "Oh the Places You'll Go" writing prompt balloon, which features 3 simple prompts younger students can do: "My favorite place to go is _________. " "A place I'd like to go is _________." and "A place I've been is ________."
Run the basket template off on brown construction paper. For that finishing touch, students glue their photograph inside.
This is one of those "awwww-dorble" keepsake activities that mommies are especially fond of.
Another one is the Lucky Ducky writing prompt craftivity, which was inspired by Seuss's book Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
To read more about it, and grab this sweet FREEBIE, click on the link.
Finally, after reading Dr. Seuss's book, What Was I Scared Of? discuss what kinds of things people are afraid of, and how they can overcome their fears.
The packet includes a class book writing prompt, as well as a more advanced writing prompt for older students. There's also a list of 19 quotes about fear. Share a few in discussion, or have students choose their favorite and comment on it, including why they like it and if they agree with it.
The book, The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams, is a wonderful comparison story, and offers more opportunities for writing and discussion. I've included a Venn diagram to help students compare and contrast these two stories.
Well that's it for today. If you're undecided, why not give your students a choice. You may be surprised to find that they want to do more than one! Time for me to go do some writing of my own. Wishing you an imaginative day filled with wonder.
"Fill your pages with the breathings of your heart." -William Wordsworth
1-2-3 Come Read Some Dr. Seuss Books With Me!
I totally agree with Dr. Seuss when he said: "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child!"
Reading to my young 5 students was my favorite part of our day. A time to relax and travel the world on all sorts of "ed-ventures" right there in our room, fueled by a splash of imagination.
March was an especially fun reading month for us. Our school celebrated March is Reading Month, took part in Read Across America, and had a Celebration of Seuss Week as well.
I personally have a collection of over 40 Dr. Seuss books. It was amidst this pile of fun, that I wondered just how many children's books Dr. Seuss had actually written.
I thought the answer would be a no-brainer. Simply Google my question and a number would pop up right? Wrong!
To my surprise, no one really quite agreed. I found guess-timates from 40 to 60. I couldn't even find a complete bibliography! How could this be? Hmmm...did I want to make the time to take up this challenge and figure it out for myself?
My curiosity got the best of me. Zillions of hours of research later, I'm proud to present to you, an alphabetical list of Seuss's books.
Finding and getting all of the covers on one page, was no small feat.
Since I was on a roll, I also wrote a synopsis of all of them and even included all of the stories that were published as collections. Synopsis of 79 Seuss books/stories.
(While doing research and discovering books and stories I had never heard of, I had to find and read them of course! Thus the "zillions" of hours, which was definitely time well-spent!) I hope you think so too, and find it helpful.
So why the variety of answers? I think some of the discrepancies happen, because certain "counters" only include the books written under Theodore's pseudonym: "Dr. Seuss" and not those he wrote (but did not illustrate) under his pen name, Theo. LeSieg (Geisel, his real name, spelled backwards.)
A lot of lists also don't include the 2 books (The Seven Lady Godivas & You're Only Old Once) that he wrote for adults. (Most people don't even know that Seuss drew cartoons and wrote for an adult audience prior to writing children's books.)
Another, often "uncounted" Seuss, is the adorable little book "A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo", which he wrote under the pen name Rosetta Stone. What? Why on earth would he add yet another pen name?
It seems that Dr. Seuss was writing a book with Michael Frith. He didn't want to use his name on the book, so Mike suggested he use his wife's name instead. Audrey's maiden name was Stone. Frith thought of Rosetta and the rest is history or not...
The rather expensive, The Many Mice of Mr. Brice, which was made into a 1989 pop up book: The Pop-Up Mice of Mr. Brice (Theo LeSeig) often escapes counting as well, perhaps because of the price. If you're lucky enough to find a "new" one, you'll likely be shelling out over $300.
Counting confusion can also be attributed to the fact that Dr. Seuss wrote several books that were collections of stories. Some of these stories were later made into separate books, like What Was I Afraid Of? which first appeared in The Sneeches.
Books like Daisy-Head Mayzie and My Many Colored Days, which were published after his death, also allude many lists. As with the other LeSeig books, he did not illustrate these.
Does the "to illustrate or not to illustrate?" add to the confusion? Perhaps; who knows what factors people use to make up a list of Dr. Seuss books.
However, my research included them all, which resulted in 64 books! So why does my cover page say 65?
Although Seuss did not write Horray For Diffendoofer Day, Jack Prelutsky, expanded and completed Seuss's original work, so I thought it only fair to include it in my count. After all, it features Miss Bonkers. a teacher.
Alas, just when I thought my counting was done...Oh no! Along comes another one!
Random house announced that they will be releasing What Pet Should I Get? on July 28th, saying: "...it was likely written between 1958 & 1962."
OK already! One book is fine, but that is not all! Oh no, that is not all...
It seems that the publisher plans on at least two more books, based on mysterious manuscripts found in Seuss's home in La Jolla, California, by his widow and secretary.
I wonder if one of those will be from Seuss’ unfinished manuscript “All Sorts of Sports,” which sold at an auction in 2010 for $34,000?
Be that as it may, I will not be up-dating my current lists anytime soon, at least not until they stop finding things “every-which-where".
Thanks for visiting. I'm off to take some aspirin and curl up with a good book.
My brain feels as fried as Sam's green eggs and ham. Wishing you a stress-free day.
I wondered how many books Dr. Seuss had written, so I Googled it. There were guess-timates from 40 to 60 books; because of the discrepancies, I decided to make my own list, so I could count and know the answer. I came up with 65 (2 were for adults). I hope you find this alphabetical list, with some interesting notations, helpful.
1-2-3 Come Stack Apples With Me!
I like to combine a variety of skills and standards into one lesson, that way I'm covering quite a bit in a short amount of time. The "Apples Up on Top" Name Activity involves math, reading, science and writing, plus completed projects make an adorable back-to-school bulletin board!
For example, if you run off the apple printable on yellow, red and green construction paper, students can learn the science fact, that apples can be 3 different colors. You can also teach students an ABCABC pattern. I've included a graphing extension to cover that concept as well.
Click on the link to view/download the Apples Up On Top Name Activity.
To further reinforce lessons, whenever I read a story, some sort of activity followed. Dr. Seuss' (Theo. LeSieg's) book, Apples Up On Top is a wonderful first week of school book, as we are in full swing studying apples. After reading the story, ask your students who the main animal characters are. Run off the template that is appropriate for you, and have students choose one to color.
Print off the apples of your choice (plain red, numbered red, plain black & white, numbered black & white) for your students to (color), copy and glue "up on top" of their animal. When everyone is done, count to 10 forwards as well as backwards. There's also a graphing extension to see how many students chose a specific animal.
The printable can also be used as a dice game for older students. They choose a partner and take turns rolling first one die, for numbers 1-6, and then add a second die, enabling them to roll numbers 7-10, when they add the 2 together.
I've included numbered strips for this game. The numbered strips are also good for preschoolers who are not able to sequence yet. This is great 1-to-1 correspondence for them.
Click on the link to view/download the Apples Up On Top With Animals Activity.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. If you'd like to see all of the other awesome educational FREEBIES that I PIN, click on the "Follow Me!" heart to the right to check out my boards.
"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." -Kahlil Gibran