Friday, March 2 is the birthday of the beloved children’s book author, Dr. Seuss. His books are familiar to almost everyone. They were the first books many of us learned to read. His books teach beginning readers so many of their early literacy skills. Skills that include rhyming, opposites, the alphabet, beginning letter sounds and so much more. Of course, the well know illustrations and straight up silliness of “hopping on pop”, “fish in trees”, and having “duck feet” are ever entertaining to little kids and young-at-heart adults too. Our way to honor this literary giant is to celebrate his birthday, year after year and day after day. I have the next four days to share the timeless stories of Dr. Seuss with my littles, my small group of preschool age kids. Many of these stories were made into movies, giving us plenty of options for our afternoon “quiet time” movie selection.
This weeks celebration begins with a birthday party complete with games, balloons, and decorations, that will continue throughout the week. In addition to reading many of his books, we will be focusing on and learning to read The Foot Book. We will also have a few Dr. Seuss themed snacks and crafts that are sure the make this week fun and memorable.
Many preschool age kids are ready to read, however not all are this far along. Because I have had the same group of kids for two years, I have been fortunate enough to have taught them the alphabet, letter sounds, shapes, opposites, rhyming words and so much more. My lessons with this group began when many had just turned 2 years of age. My group has now age 4 and learning reading basics such as CVC words, popcorn words, and reading through memorization.
Using short stories I was given by a teacher and friend, my group of kids have been discovering they can read short stories. These stories use repetition to teach easy words such as the, can, we, and, or, in and many others. The books also teach new words with context clues found in the colorful images on each page. I give them a new book every week.
Having this reading foundation, I felt my group of kids are ready to move on to learning one of Dr. Seuss’s shorter and easier to read books, The Foot Book. Just for my group, I made little each a copy of the entire book and bound each copy with gold paper fasteners. I did not charge my families for the book and do not intend to sell copies, so there’s no concern for copyright laws for just my use of the book, I own and purchased.To teach the kids this story, I first read it to them. While I read the story, I pointed to each word as I read it and made reference to context clues in the pictures for each word. I pointed out the opposites used and the words that rhyme. I also noted that some pictures have only one foot on the ground so they can remember the word in the text is “foot” and when both feet or more than one foot is on the ground the word in the text it “feet.” I will use these hints to help the kids read this book back to me, each day this week.
Because I had to trim each page I copied to make the book, I kept the scrap paper to help make the birthday party decorations. Using a stapler and the longer strips of scrap paper, the kids and I started to build a paper chain. When we are finished with our long chain, we will hang the balloons and chain to decorate for Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
I hope that by sharing my teaching techniques and tips I can help other daytime guardian angels enrich the lives of their bigs and littles. If you’re also celebrating this week and find these ideas useful, please feel free to steal and share with others. Thank you for reading and be sure to check back for additional posts for more crafts and learning activities as well celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday.