Lively Lessons: Theodor Geisel

10920509_359a3a030fMonday, March 2nd marks the birthday of one of the most famous authors, Theodor Geisel, or Dr. Seuss as he is better known. Dr. Seuss has written and illustrated over 40 children’s books. These books have been translated into more than 15 languages and have sold over 200 million copies! His honors include two Academy awards, two Emmy awards and the Pulitzer Prize!

We most often think of Dr. Seuss when we think about our young readers. While Cat in the Hat a is often a staple in primary classroom libraries, learners of all ages can be inspired by the work of Dr. Seuss. Let’s explore a few ideas that could be used outside of the elementary classroom.

Middle School Connections

Assign students a Writing Prompt that asks them to vote on their favorite book and write a letter to their teacher persuading them to agree. (Remember- you can edit the writing prompt!)

Read Yertle the Turtle and have a class discussion about what it means to be satisfied with what you have and freedom. Have students discuss Yertle’s problem in the book.

You might even have students write a simple story inspired by Cat in the Hat which was written using only a list of words from a primary lesson.


High School Connections

View the Great American Authors segment on Discovery Education highlighting Dr. Seuss. Then have students examine one of Dr. Seuss’s books. (If your library is out of copies- check out a few excerpts here). Students can provide strong examples literacy features: voice, the relationship between spelling and sound using onomatopoeia, and rhythm. Students could also explore the collection of books and look for life lessons (Bartholomew and the Oobleck; Horton Hears a Who), possible ties to politics (The Butter Battle Book), and the environment (The Lorax).

If you’re working on poetry have students compare Dr. Seuss’s work (Green Eggs and Ham for iambic pentameter) to that of Shakespeare or another classical piece of poetry. Ask students to make a comparison of the two and spark a discussion on what is poetry. You could also have students provide examples of alliteration and hyperbole.


More Seuss Resources from Discovery Education

Calendar Event for Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

Make Oobleck (Science Techbook subscribers)

FLASH BACK: Below are a few blog posts from the archives with more Dr. Seuss fun-

Favorite Resources by Kelly Hines

In honor of Dr. Seuss: A Common Core Poem by Karen Beerer


Classrooms around the country will also be honoring Read Across America Day- we’d love to hear how you’re celebrating. You can find activities and events from the National Education Association here.


What are your favorite ways to use Dr. Seuss in your classroom? Share your ideas in the comments, below!




photo credit: DSC_2174 via photopin (license)


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  1. Norma Rockwell said:

    My Pre-Engineering class will use their accurate & precise measuring skills to make their own Cat in the Hat hats. Science of the Environment classes will compare/contrast non-renewable energy resources to the Lorax.
    Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

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