He gave the world cats in hats. He introduced us to foxes with socks. And he put green eggs and ham on the shelf in every library across America. So it’s only fitting that classrooms around the country celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday tomorrow (March 2) with a Read Across America day!
Did you know that in May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children? The report concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. William Ellsworth Spaulding, who was the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin at the time, compiled a list of 348 words he felt were important for first graders to recognize. He asked children’s book author Dr. Seuss to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Less than a year later, and using only 236 of the words given to him, Dr. Seuss completed one of his most popular books, The Cat in the Hat.
Dr. Seuss epitomized a love of children and learning. His use of rhyme in his stories still works today as an effective tool for teaching young children how to read. And he showed the world how to make reading more fundamental: make it more fun. As you prepare your lesson plans for tomorrow, leave some time to sit down with your students and read a story together. Because the more they know, the more they can grow.
For more information, visit:
Read Across America http://www.nea.org/grants/13003.htm
What fun activities are you planning in your classroom tomorrow? Leave a comment below or email us your favorite story-time activity.