fishflannelDr. Seuss’s birthday is on March 2nd, but we’re having our Read Across America celebration (or “Dr. Seuss Day” as everyone calls it) on Monday the 1st. Mondays are the only days in my schedule when I can organize giant projects like this.

To get ready for the festivities, I’ve spent February on a Dr. Seuss author study with pre-k. Kindergarten and possibly 1st grade will have their turn in March. We’ve read Horton Hears a Who, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Hop on Pop, and this week we’re reading The Cat in the Hat. I also showed them a great short video of The Foot Book and One Fish Two Fish, for which I cannot find a link. We did this activity after The Foot Book video. I didn’t give each student a copy, I just had one and had them come up one at time to find a wet foot or a dry foot. Then we added up all the feet. Fun!

I made this fishy flannelboard to go with One Fish Two Fish. We count how many red and blue fish there are, then we count how many fish look to the left and to the right. That was a lot of fun with the AI (deaf) class, who kept looking out the window every time I tried to point the direction the fish were looking. It really was fun for our interpreter, Cindy, to try and figure out how to explain that concept. They’re pretty literal, and it was cool to see when it clicked for them and they could play the game.

I also did a whole big rhyming lesson around Hop on Pop. We talked about what a rhyme is, and we found all the rhyming groups in the book (and there are many). For every set of words like “dad, had, sad” I’d throw in something that didn’t rhyme, like “chair,” and see if they could find the word that didn’t rhyme. And the kids thought that book was hilarious. Again, tough for the AI kids, who don’t really understand what rhyming is all about. But they loved the story, and it’s straightforward enough to sign. Since working with deaf students I’ve learned that Dr. Seuss is really difficult to sign. All the made up words are already nonsense, which is fun for hearing kids to giggle over, but how do you sign nonsense? But Hop on Pop worked.

I will be posting plenty more about Dr. Seuss in the next week or two. I am going to be in Dr. Seuss overdrive for a while. But I liked this unit: simple and fun.

Update: I decided at the spur of the moment this week after reading The Cat in the Hat that the pre-k kids should draw birthday pictures for Dr. Seuss. I tried to guide them to draw the Cat in the Hat, and here is a 4yo’s interpretation in progress. I’ll post pictures when I put up the display next week.