Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel, changed the world of children’s books in the 1950s. Prior to his books, children learned to read with boring, repetitive books. But, Dr. Seuss’s books were full of crazy characters, colorful pictures, imaginative settings and fun rhymes! He quickly became a beloved writer, authoring some of the most popular children’s books in the world.
Many today don’t realize Ted Geisel also wrote political cartoons or that he produced many films for the US Army during World War II. Children of a variety of ages will enjoy learning more about Dr. Seuss with this unit study, discovering an even deeper love for his books!
Grab some of the books below, sign-up to receive the FREE printable unit study and then explore the other resources!
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The Book about Dr. Seuss
The Dr. Seuss unit study is based upon the books Who Was Dr. Seuss? You will learn about his personal life and his early career before he started writing children’s books. See what inspired his books and learn how he was only allowed to use certain words to write some of them! Third to fifth graders can read this book independently and it is a great read aloud for a variety of ages.
Several of his books are also listed below with accompanying activities for ages preschool to fifth grade.
The Dr. Seuss FREE Printable Unit Study
The printable unit study includes the following:
Notebooking pages about Dr. Seuss’s life.
A timeline activity to chart his life and work.
Make 10 Apple Game: See below about using it with the Ten Apples Up on Top! book.
Following Directions Activity: Develop your children’s listening skills while you guide them through directions to color a variety of hats. Perfect to use with The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.
I Want a Pet! Graphic Organizer and Writing prompt: Have your children write a persuasive essay about a pet they would like you to buy for them after they read What Pet Should I Get?.
Write Like Dr. Seuss: Use this guide to write a few lines in anapestic tetrameter like Dr. Suess did!
Crossword Puzzle: Fill-in the clues about some of Dr. Seuss’s books.
Videos about Dr. Seuss
Short comprehensive biography. (4 min.)
Dr. Seuss used a poetic meter to create his stories called anapestic tetrameter. This video introduces you to this meter. (2 minutes)
Explore Dr. Seuss’s drawings in detail with a museum docent. Note: At the beginning of the video, the speaker indicates that you need materials for a project. However, this video is great to learn about his drawings even if you do not have plans to create your own illustration at the time. (4 minutes)
Drawing Like Dr. Seuss
There are many drawing videos on YouTube for drawing Dr. Seuss characters.
Our favorite drawing series for kids is the Art for Kids Hub and here are their Dr. Seuss inspired videos.
Here is a playlist from several different YouTube drawing channels featuring Dr. Seuss characters.
Fun Activities for Dr. Seuss Books
Dr. Seuss wrote almost 50 children’s books during his lifetime. Here are eight of those books with fun activities to accompany them. Appropriate ages and academic subjects incorporated are listed. A link to other resources are included for most of the books. (You can find a comprehensive list of his books at Ducksters.)
Subject: Beginning language skills Ages: 6 months – 2 years. Great for older preschoolers who may need extra support developing their speech sounds.
Throughout this book, Mr. Brown models a variety of fun consonant-vowel and consonant-vowel-consonant combinations we use for every day sounds such as the ‘buzz’ of a bee and the ‘klopp’ of horse’s feet. Periodically, he asks readers if they can say the sounds, too.
This makes it a great book for encouraging vocal imitation in our youngest learners as well as encouraging children to imitate a variety of speech sounds as they learn to talk. Exaggerate your oral movements when modeling the sounds to encourage imitation.
And don’t forget this book when your children are older and learning about descriptive language! It is a great example of onomatopoeia.
Free printable pack for Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can you? from Rock Your Homeschool.
Subject: Early literacy Ages: 3-7, but fun for older kids, too.
The creatures in this book are named with words rhyming with common household objects. For example, there is “a NINK in the SINK” and “the ZOWER in my SHOWER”. This makes it a great book to use with children learning phonemic awareness skills and getting ready to read. And older readers will have fun playing this game, too.
Pull out a pad of sticky notes and have your child come up with different names for some of the creatures that rhyme with the given household objects. For example, the “NINK” can become a “TINK in the SINK” and the “ZOWER” can become a “GOWER in my SHOWER”. Write these new words on the sticky notes, stick to the corresponding page and then reread the book with your child’s words!
If your children enjoy this activity, take it further by having them find household objects around your house and create nonsense rhyming words for them. Then, have them create their own book using these words to name their creatures and place them in drawings with the household object.
Practice lacing while making a cute pocket with Confidence Meets Parenting.
Ten Apples Up on Top
This book is great to encourage counting and stacking in children. See how high you can stack blocks and other objects. Count how many you can stack and see which objects you are able to stack up the most. Then print the Make 10 Apple game in the printable packet above and build your child’s number sense by helping them learn which pairs of numbers add up to 10!
Other activities related to Ten Apples Up On Top from Gift of Curiosity.
Subject: Writing Ages: 7-9
While this book is targeted to 5-7 year olds, older children will enjoy it, too. And you can use it to introduce the idea of writing a persuasive essay to encourage your parents to buy you a pet. A graphic organizer and writing prompt are included in the printable packet above to guide your children through the process. You can also use them with younger children and have them dictate their paragraph to you while you write it.
Practice coloring and printing simple words to make your own What Pet Should I Get? book with Rock Your Homeschool.
Subject: Science Ages: 5-10
This book is one of Dr. Seuss’s longer narratives and is great for elementary school. The king is tired of the same weather patterns and wants to see something new come down from the sky. After you read the book, make your own oobleck and learn about liquids and solids with this science experiment. You could carry this subject further by learning about three of the weather patterns the king was tired of: fog, snow, and rain. How are they similar and different? What causes them to occur? How are they similar to oobleck?
Varsity Tutors has some free printables to accompany this book.
Subject: Following Directions Ages: 5-9
This is an early book of Dr. Seuss’s and another one of his longer narratives great for older children. It was inspired by Dr. Seuss’s love of hats and is about a peasant boy who is treated poorly by the king. After you finish the book, print out the hat picture from the printable packet above and guide your child through a fun following direction activity!
Make your own hat with Mommy Lessons 101.
Subject: Science Ages: 5-10
This particular book of Dr. Seuss’s is an Earth Day favorite. Children are encouraged to appreciate the Truffula trees and our earth! A perfect follow-up activity to this book is to plants seeds. Any seeds will work, but feel free to pretend they are Truffula seeds!! Check out our Planting Seeds with Kids post to maximize this learning experience! Make sure you download the free booklet over there so you can learn all about seeds.
Subject: Character and Ethics Ages: 5-9
Dr. Seuss wrote The Sneetches during the Civil Rights Movement and it is about embracing diversity in our multicultural world. The Prindle Institute has pulled together a great collection of questions to guide your children through a discussion about differences, equality, and friendship after you read the book.
More Sneetches activities from Tacky the Teacher.
Write Your Own Book Like Dr. Seuss
Now that your children have learned how to draw Dr. Seuss style characters and how to write in anapestic tetrameter, it is time for them to write their own book in the style of Dr. Seuss! You can make it even more challenging by having them use this list of Dolch sight words, which is similar to the list of words Dr. Seuss had to work with when writing his Beginning books.
Have them pick some rhyming words and start to make some rhymes. Now, can they weave it into a story with a beginning, middle and end? Add some pictures and you have a book!
Watch a Dr. Seuss Movie
CinemaBlend shares the five best Dr. Seuss movies in their opinion. I am sure one will be a big surprise! They are all available to rent from Amazon or check your favorite streaming service
What other resources have you used to learn about Dr. Seuss? Please share below!!
Interesting book for older students studying World War II:
Check out Seussville.com.
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