Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NEA’s Read Across America Day!

Did you take the pledge?

I’m definitely doing my part to get children interested in reading! We celebrated this year's event with Dr. Seuss books:

Get involved! NEA’s Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2—Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too! Incorporate these guides and activities to celebrate reading with young people.

(Click here to learn more.)

And here's a fun unit that I put together for my grandson:

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

With his unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss's beloved Beginner Book has cemented it's place as a children's classic. Follow Sam I Am as he tries to convince an acquaintance that green eggs and ham is, indeed, a delectable meal to be savored everywhere and every way.

Check out our file folder game:

It’s a Tick-Tock Birthday Clock!

The Tic-Tac-Toe game is a free printable on I already had the clock template but added a clipping of Sam-I-Am to jazz it up.

Note: I was careful not to break copyright laws in regard to the Dr. Seuss licensed characters, etc. There are plenty of gently worn books at thrift stores. I picked up a second-hand copy of Green Eggs and Ham for a few dollars and cut out any necessary images. I also used the free printables on the official Dr. Seuss website.

The flashcards came from Target:

Here's another item to add:

"Here or There" arm wands!

Once again, I used clippings from my second-hand copy of Green Eggs and Ham book to create this craft. You'll also need a piece of cardstock, one library pocket and two Popsicle sticks.

Next up...

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish By Dr. Seuss

Since 1960, this beloved Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss has been introducing young readers to fantastically funny creatures like the winking Yink, the boxing Gox, and more than a few fanciful fish. A simple yet utterly silly book, it provides a perfect beginning reading experience, combining exuberant illustrations with easy-to-decode words that delight both eye and ear.

*The fishing rod and magnetic fish are great for center time! You can find a similar one here.

Next up...

On Beyond Bugs by Tish Rabe
Illustrations by Aristides Ruiz

Find out all you ever wanted to know about insects when the Cat and company get an up-close view of life as a bug. Kids will learn how insects -- from the spittlebug to the honeybee to the moth -- see, smell, communicate, and pollinate, as well as sometimes pester and amaze and generally make life better for us humans. Catch the bug buzz with the Cat in the Hat and all his friends!

This book is wonderful for toddlers! Lots of interesting facts but presented in a simple and engaging way. Here's what we did for a follow-up activity:

A Busy Bees! File Folder Game!

I got the idea for this project from the Pigs Do Fly blog. I changed mine up a bit, though. I wanted our game to match one of the spreads in On Beyond Bugs and the math needed to be geared down for a toddler. We used the bees for counting and sorting sizes, etc.

(Click here for the mason jar template.)

Note: The bees and flowers were simple clipart from Microsoft Word and royalty free images found online.

This next book is about holidays:

Hurray for Today! by Bonnie Worth
Illustrations by Aristides Ruiz

With a little help from the Birthday Bird of Katroo, the Cat and Co. explain (in rhymed verse!) the origin of common holiday rituals such as lighting candles, dying eggs, and sending cards. Holidays include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day—and that’s only through March!

We focused on the March spread and went on a picnic:

(You can find this sweet basket at most department store.)

“To welcome the light,
We sing and we dance
and go on a picnic
and feed all the ants!”

And here's a tongue twister board book that made us giggle:

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
(Recommended for 0-3 years)

Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks has been troubling tongues—and garnering giggles—since 1965. Written specifically to be read aloud, it features a tricky fox in socks and the progressively more difficult tongue-twisting games he plays on his exasperated friend Mr. Knox. Now available for the first time in an abridged, sturdy, board book edition, this beloved classic will have babies of all ages laughing with—and at—their parents as they struggle, like Knox, to blab such blibber blubber as muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle!

Next up...

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Before "going green" was mainstream, Dr. Seuss warned against the dangers of not treating the environment with care and respect in his story, The Lorax. With the release of the blockbuster film version, the Lorax and his classic tale have educated a new generation of young readers about the importance of not only seeing the beauty in the world around us, but also about our responsibility to protect it.

(I purchased the Lorax tote bag at Target last year.)

We made Truffula trees out of tissue paper:

The yellow mustaches were made out of poster board and popsicle sticks. You're welcome to use my  sketch for a pattern. Click here for the file.

I have one more Dr. Seuss book in my collection, but I didn't include it in this unit. I'll be posting a few activities when it gets closer to Christmas, though:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas By Dr. Seuss

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville's holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.

Did you do anything special for NEA's Read Across America Day?  I'd love to hear about it.

Have a great week!

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