“Readers are Leaders”! Please join the annual Read Across America celebration on March 2nd. This is the official day set aside and sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) to celebrate reading. You will notice the CAT in the HAT theme, because this day also doubles as Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. There are many ways you can participate. The ideas can be simple or whimsical, It’s your choice.
Step one…have your school or class sign the pledge on the NEA website. This is a great way to make a commitment to this awesome month long celebration.
Take some time out to learn a bit more about the the man behind the amazing Doctor Seuss. Here is some research we found to get you started:
- Theodor Geisel adopted his mother’s maiden name, signing his early illustrations “Dr. Theophrastus Seuss” as a joke.
- Most people pronounce Seuss like goose, but it actually sounds more like voice.
- Dr. Seuss was not an actual doctor but was awarded several honorary degrees, including those from Dartmouth (his alma mater) and Princeton.
- Before becoming a children’s author, Dr. Seuss worked in advertising, illustrating for NBC, Ford, General Electric and others. His “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” ads for Standard Oil were the “Got Milk?” campaigns of the era.
- His books have sold over 600 million copies and been translated into more than 20 languages.
- His first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” was rejected by as many as 29 publishers (nobody knows the actual number, but it was a lot). The book was finally published in 1937.
- The children’s education editor at Houghton Mifflin asked Dr. Seuss to write a book using no more than 225 out of 348 vocabulary words every first grader should understand. The result was “The Cat in the Hat,” which used 236 of those words.
- Dr. Seuss won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his contribution to children’s education.
- He passed away in 1991 at the age of 87.
Download the Educator Guide on Suesville.com. It begins by stating “On March 2, tip your hat to Dr. Seuss and celebrate his newly discovered book, What Pet Should I Get?” In addition, the site includes several activities that are specifically designed for the 2016 celebration!
Other ways to encourage reading throughout the day.
- Host a “Read in”- Have everyone stop what they are doing at a set time and just read! Start small if you have never done this before. Buddy with another classroom and see where it goes.
- Track the number of pages each class read during the day and then as the month goes on, track the number of books completed!
- Invite community members to your classroom to be guest readers.
- Celebrate reading with Buddy reading. This is a great way to cross grade levels with your students.
- Dress up as a Dr. Seuss character.
- Have students participate in a reader’s theatre and perform for other classes.
Supplement your resources with these great Big Universe options!
Dr. Seuss was famous for his use of rhymes and patterns. What a perfect way to teach poetry or to read rhyming books. Whoosh of Gadoosh does just that. This treasure will not disappoint. Students will be captured by the Dr. Seuss like style and magical characters. It also is a great tool to compare and contrast each author’s reading style.
Pat Skene (author), Doug Keith (illustrator)
Are Green and Eggs and Ham on the Menu today? Your students will love this gem that supports your Dr. Suess event. Again the rhyming and rhythmic patterns will engage your readers and provide intereting and useful food facts that can enhance a health unit.
Pat Skene (author), Graham Ross (illustrator)
Orca Book Publishers
We love to hear from our readers. What has been a successful Read Across America activity in your classroom? Have you celebrated before or are you a first timer?