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Digging Deeper with Dr. Seuss

Dr_seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday is coming up this week, so I thought I would share how powerful and relevant his stories can be to growing and developed readers. I recommend five of his books to discuss symbolism, history, and schema; these books show that there is more than meets the eye when we read.

The Boy On Fairfield Street

The first book you will want to pick up and share with your class is The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss by Kathleen Krull. Through discussion you can talk about the influence of his life and his books and see where his story connections came from.  This book is well written and weaves his life with his stories throughout.

If you are looking for a quick summary of his life, click here.

Dr. Seuss Bio

After reading this book, your class would have some background information on World War II and his experience as a political cartoonist. This is important to know because it will prepare you to read the other books I am recommending for discussion.

Yertle the Turtle

Yertle_chalk 

I made this connection a few years back, and I was happy to see it supported after doing some searches on the Internet. This story can be tied to Adolph Hitler, and focuses on how power is gained. With or without the history connection, this book has a great message to discuss in regards to peer pressure and bullying. 

To learn more about the plot, purpose, and connections to this story, click here.

The Butter Battle Book

Butter_bread

This story of the Yooks and Zooks also has a historical connection to World War II, as he tackles weapons of mass destruction and causes for war. In fact, the connection is so obvious that when students watched a portion of the cartoon clip on a rainy afternoon, all was quiet in our room.  

To learn more about the plot, purpose, and connections to this story, click here.

The Sneetches

Sneetch

Using the knowledge gained from The Boy On Fairfield Street, students will remember how Theodor was teased for being different as a child. He was Jewish with German parents in America. I am sure his first-hand experience of feeling different helped write this story later in his life. The star symbol can be connected to the Jewish star of David.

To learn more about the plot, purpose, and connections to this story, click here.

The Lorax

Lorax 

No need to discuss the importance of this book and where this message came from.  I speak for the trees, and this book is enjoyed by readers of all ages. I am going to include a link on this book which details some interesting polluting connections when the story and cartoon were made in the early 1970's.

The Lorax connections


Yertle_turtle_statue

Oh_the_places 

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To learn more about our classroom, visit us here.

Fantastic Dr. Seuss photos found on:http://www.flickr.com/photos/classpics/

Comments

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Angela

Readers,

You should seriously check Mrs. D's photos out. The drawings are amazing!

Thanks for letting us know about the address change. I have changed it in the article/blog above.

Angela

Mrs. D

Hello,

Thanks for posting my photos. I'm slowly moving my Dr. Seuss pictures to a different flicker account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/classpics/. Please update your article with the new link.

Mrs. D
Kindergarten Teacher

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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