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On March 2nd, schools across the United States observe the birthday of one of the most beloved children's authors of our time, Dr. Seuss. Children celebrate and honor his birthday by participating in fun activities, playing games, and reading his much-adored books.
Here are a few activities and ideas to help you celebrate this best-selling author's birthday with your students.
Create a Pen Name
The world knows him as Dr. Seuss, but what people may not know is that was only his pseudonym, or "pen name." His birth name was Theodor Seuss Geisel. He also used the pen names Theo LeSieg (his last name Geisel spelled backward) and Rosetta Stone. He used these names because he was forced to resign from his post as editor-in-chief of his college's humor magazine, and the only way he could continue writing for it was by using a pen name.
For this activity, have your students come up with their own pen names. Remind students that a pen name is a "false name" that authors use so people will not find out their real identities. Then, have students write Dr. Seuss-inspired short stories and sign their works with their pen names. Hang the stories in your classroom and encourage the students to try and guess who wrote which story.
Oh! The Places You'll Go!
"Oh! The Places You'll Go!" is a delightful and imaginative story from Dr. Seuss that focuses on the many places you will journey to as your life unfolds. A fun activity for students of all ages is to plan out what they will do in their lives. Write the following story starters on the board, and encourage students to write a few sentences after each writing prompt.
- By the end of this month, I hope to…
- By the end of the school year, I hope to…
- When I am 18 I hope to…
- When I am 40 I hope to…
- When I am 80 I hope to…
- My goal in life is to…
For younger students, you can tailor the questions and have them focus on small goals like doing better in school and getting onto a sports team. Older students can write about their life goals and what they would like to accomplish in the future.
Using Math for "One Fish, Two Fish"
"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" is a Dr. Seuss classic. It is also a great book to use to incorporate math. You can use Goldfish crackers to teach younger students how to make and use a graph. For older students, you can have them create their own word problems using the imaginative rhymes of the story. Examples might include, "How much could a Yink drink in 5 minutes if he had 2 eight-ounce glasses of water?" or "How much would 10 Zeds cost?"
Host a Dr. Seuss Party
What's the best way to celebrate a birthday? With a party, of course! Here are a few creative ideas to help you incorporate Dr. Seuss characters and rhymes into your party:
- Hang kites from the classroom ceiling (Great Day for Up!)
- Have students wear non-matching or silly socks to the party (Fox in Sox)
- Place red and blue Goldfish crackers on the party tables and have students go fishing for fake fish (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish)
- Decorate the classroom with stars (Sneetches)
- Add green food dye to eggs and serve Green Eggs and Ham