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Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Janelle Cox

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!When it comes to imaginative characters and fun rhymes, Dr. Seuss is the author that everyone thinks of. With his best-selling books and television series, it's no wonder Theodor Seuss Geisel is one of the most beloved authors celebrated today. His birthday, March 2nd, provides an opportunity for schools across the nation to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with crafts, games, and of course, his much-loved books.

Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate this special birthday with your students:

 

Brief Biography of Dr. Seuss

Children know him as Dr. Seuss, but what they may not know is that he was born on March 2, 1904 as Theodor Seuss Geisel.  He was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, where his mother soothed him with rhymes of her youth. He attended Dartmouth College and was editor-in-chief of their magazine. After graduation he went on to Oxford University in England, but decided to tour the country instead. He later met his wife, Helen, there, and after returning to the United States, he pursued his career as a cartoonist. "The Cat in the Hat" was the book that defined his career as an author and illustrator. He went on to write over 40 books and died at the age of 87 in 1991.

Download the Dr. Seuss Bookshelf App

There is no better way to get (and keep) your students' attention then to use an iPad. With the Dr. Seuss Bookshelf app, teachers can search, download, and keep track of Dr. Seuss books and games. Download the "Dr. Seuss Camera - The Cat in the Hat Edition." With this app, you can take whimsical pictures of the students, print them out, and then make a class book. There are numerous apps that cater to older students (6—12) as well. Apps such as "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" and "A Whale of a Tale: All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales." These apps allow students to interact with words and pictures on the page, record their own voice, and have access to a word glossary.

Write Like Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss is best known for his playful rhymes that compel children to want to read. A fun way to celebrate Seuss' birthday is to have students create their own story in rhyme. To get started, read a few of Dr. Seuss' favorites, and make sure to stop and point out his imaginative rhymes while you're reading. Remind students that words that rhyme share the same ending sound. Explore examples, such as this excerpt from the book "Fox in Sox," "Socks on chicks and chicks on fox. Fox on clocks and bricks and blocks." Next, write a few of his quotes on the board and have students try to come up with their own. Once you think they have the hang of it, send them off to begin their story. For some added fun, have each student come up with a pen name, just like Dr. Seuss had!

Create Meaning to Seuss' Silly Words

Dr. Seuss made up a lot of silly words in his books. For this activity, group students together to write definitions for the following words: duddled, wuddled, blibber, slupps, oobleck, zlock, kweet, snuvs, wumbus, gootch. Encourage them to be creative and come up with a meaning that would go along with the story the words are in.

Host a Dr. Seuss Party

The best way to celebrate a birthday is to have a party! Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate Dr. Seuss books into your party planning.

  • Ask students to wear silly socks to the party ("Fox in Sox")
  • Add food dye to eggs and serve ("Green Eggs and Ham")
  • Place "Goldfish" crackers at all of the party tables ("The Cat in the Hat")
  • Have students go fishing for red and blue toy or paper fish ("One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish")
  • Blow up colorful balloons and scatter throughout the classroom ("Oh, the Places You'll Go!")

Famous Books by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss' books have been a staple in children's literature for years. His books have become required reading for anyone who loves entertaining rhymes and whimsical illustrations. Here are a few of his greatest works:

  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Horton Hears a Who!
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • The Lorax
  • Oh, The Places You'll Go
  • And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street
  • Fox in Sox
  • Hop on Pop

 

How do you celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday in your classroom? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below!