Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Program Summary: Dr. Seuss Celebration

K-2 Book Adventure Program Summary: Dr. Seuss Celebration
Our February “K-2 Book Adventure” program was all about Seuss. We had 100 or so kids, mostly 5-8 years old, and 50 or so grown-ups. Terri, Sheila, and I presented. We built it mostly around two stories, with miscellaneous Seuss stuff in between. I wanted to steer clear of the best known Seuss stories, knowing the kids would get their fill during Read Across America Day a couple weeks later.

Seuss Facts: To start the event, and at three other interludes, we did quick “Seuss Facts.” I put on my Cat in the Hat hat, Terri leads the kids in a drum roll, and PowerPoint slides frame the facts. We tried not to overwhelm them with information…I really wanted to talk about how Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now was aimed at Richard Nixon and how And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street inspired John Fogerty to write “Looking Out My Backdoor” for CCR, but those were more parent-y things I guess. So we went with: 1) the 25+ rejections before Mulberry Street was published; 2) the challenge of writing a book with 50 words (Green Eggs and Ham), showing the 50 words in alphabetical order...not sure if the kids got the point, but it pleased me somehow; 3) the books written as Theo. LeSieg; and 4) the Geisel Award. These interludes had some visual elements and worked as transitions between stories. And I was especially pleased that most of the Geisel Award books that we had on display did get checked out after the program.

“What Was I Scared Of?”: A fun act-out of the “pale green pants” story. Details are in a separate post.

“A Gallery of Seuss Creatures”: We scanned five or six creatures from his books, along with a line or two from the book. Such as this quote from If I Ran the Zoo: “I’ll go to the far-away mountains of Tobsk / Near the river of Nobsk / and I’ll bring back an Obsk /A sort of a kind of a Thing-a-ma-Bobsk / Who only eats rhubarb and corn-on-the-cobsk.” And show the picture. This was a fun way to highlight Seuss’ verbal and visual creativity and get the kids curious about some of the books they may not have read yet.

Fox in Socks: We picked three of the tongue twisters from this one, using scanned images from the book to set it up. We each read the long tongue twisty section, then called on a child to try one phrase, such as "...a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle." Then all the kids tried it. PowerPoint worked neatly here, as we could show the full scanned page, but click to highlight the shorter phrase.

Hop on Pop: We always need to get them on their feet at about the 30 minute mark, but I was stumped for a Seuss stretch for a while. Hop on Pop was the best I could come up with. We had them stand and hop to the refrain from the book: “Hop, hop, we hop on pop.” Then it was “what else can we do?....Jump! So it’s: Jump, jump, we jump on a stump.” The idea was to get them moving, plus rhyming at the same time. I’m not sure it was especially successful, but they stood up and they moved around, and that was good enough.

“The Sneetches”: Another three person act out, with details in a separate post.
We finished with a simple craft: decorate a white bag as a "Cat in the Hat" hat (or any kind of hat, really).
School Promotion: Every month we visit either the K, 1st, or 2nd grade kids at each of our two elementaries to promote the event in a 15-20 minute presentation. This time we did the first bit of "The Sneetches," though without the "Star Off / Star On Machines" and with just Sheila and I, no child volunteers. At the first school we also shared some Seuss facts that just weren't exciting enough, so for the second school we scrapped those and did the first part of "What Was I Scared Of" and that was much better.
Previous K-2 Book Adventure programs were: “Dragons,” “Arnold Lobel,” and “Fractured Fairy Tales,” and "Bug Tales." Details for all may follow in separate posts, though it may be a while…

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