Thank you Dr Seuss

We finished up our author study with a viewing of Horton Hears a Who.

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This is a wonderful movie with a beautiful message.  It is about belief in what you can’t see, fidelity to a cause that others think is ridiculous and community service to reach an improbable goal.  Dr Seuss shows us that we’re all in this together and that everyone of us is important.  Or as Horton puts it “A person is a person, no matter how small.”

We are all a bit sad to see our study of Dr Seuss come to an end but we have learned so much about this brilliant, creative man and have a new appreciation of just how much he has influenced generations of readers.

Here are some snippets of what we have learned:

  • His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel and he wasn’t really a doctor!
  • He was born in 1904 and grew up in a city called Springfield in the United States.
  • His most famous book is the Cat in the Hat.
  • Before he was a writer he drew cartoons for magazines.
  • His first book was an ABC book that was never published.
  • His books are funny and his stories usually rhyme.
  • His books are full of strange animals and places.
  • Some of his books have been made into films.
  • Dr Seuss died in 1991.

Yes, we have learned many things about Dr Seuss but we have also learned from him. We now know that many of Dr Seuss’s books have an important message.  He often makes readers think about how to do the right thing.  In Yertle the Turtle we learnt how important it is to stand up for ourselves and not be bullied into something that we don’t want to do.  In The Sneetches we learnt that we are all the same and that we can all live together in peace and harmony regardless of our external differences.  In Oh, the Places You’ll Go we learn about the importance of seizing new opportunities, keeping an open mind and trying new things.

So thank you Dr Seuss, you have inspired us all to be better people and have reminded us why reading is so important – “The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

 

 

 

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

one fish twofish red fish blue fishIn this hilarious exploration of opposites, colours, numbers and nonsense, Dr Seuss paints a crazy world of singing Yings, boxing Goxes and seven hump wumps.

The grade twos enjoyed listening to this whacky tale.  It sparked the conversation of which comes first – the story or the illustrations.  We discussed how in most instances the story always comes first.  However, with this particular book we thought that the great Dr would have drawn the crazy characters first and then come up with the words to fit the character. Whatever the process, one thing is for sure, Dr Seuss certainly has a wild imagination!

After the book we got to work to create some of our own fish using hand prints. Take a look…..

Now for the finished product………

Photo 25-03-14 10 29 59 AM

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Yertle the Turtle

Yertle the turtle

After today’s story it is becoming clear to us that not only are we falling more in love with Dr Seuss but that he also has some very valuable lessons to teach us.  Today we learnt how important it is to stand up for ourselves and that if someone is doing or saying something that we don’t agree with we simply need to say “Stop it, I don’t like it!”

Because of the concept of ‘stacks’ in the story we thought it would be quite fitting to play Jenga.  We tried very hard not to let our own stacks fall but in the end they all came crashing down, much like Yertle’s turtle stack did in the story.

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The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr Seuss

boy-on-fairfield-street-how-ted-geisel-grew-up-to-become-dr-seuss

Today we shared a Picture Book that tells the story of the first 22 years of Dr Seuss’ life.  It is the first picture book biography of Dr Seuss, written especially for his young fans who want to know what made him tick.  The animals in the zoo that his father ran and his fondness for drawing them, the injustices he suffered as the child of German immigrants and his inhrent sense of humour all fed into the imagination of this boy.  He was a square peg in a round hole until he found that he could make a living doing exactly what he pleased – doodling and writing funny things about the world as he saw it.

The grade twos were facinated by this book and couldn’t quite believe that the young boy in the story, who was voted ‘most likely to fail’ by his peers,  ended up being one of the most loved and celebrated authors of our time.

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Drawing Pad

Today we used the Drawing Pad app to create some Dr Suess inspired pictures.  We think the Great Man would be mighty impressed with our interpretation of his most famous characters…..

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THE CAT IN THE HAT

the cat in the hat

Dr Seuss ignites a child’s imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verses and he doesn’t disappoint with The Cat in the Hat.  This is the story of the cat that transformed a dull, rainy afternoon into a magical and just-messy-enough adventure.  There’s another hidden adventure too – this book really does help children to read.

Although most of our grade twos had already heard this classic tale, all of them enjoyed listening to it again.  The words at the end of the book “Should we tell her about it? Now, what SHOULD we do?  Well….. What would you do if your mother asked you?” promoted some interesting discussion about telling the truth. We all agreed in the end that honesty is the best policy!

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Our Wacky Animals….

Last week I promised you that I would post some pictures of our “unusual” animals once they were finished.  Well here they are…….

 

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Welcome to Information Literacy 2014

Welcome back everybody! It was great to see you all today looking refreshed and ready for a new year of learning.  We have some very exciting things planned for the year ahead and we are looking forward to sharing them all with you. To kick the year off we are starting with an Author Study.  We wanted to inspire you all right from the beginning and who better to do that than the one and only Dr Seuss! This brilliant man charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents and in the processs has helped millions of kids learn to read.

More about Dr Seuss

Dr-Seuss picture

Dr Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904.  After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford University, intending to acquire a doctorate in literature.  At Oxford, Geisel met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927.  Upon his return to America later that year, Geisel published cartoons and humerous articles for JUDGE, the leading humour magazine in America at that time.  His cartoons also appeared in major magazines such as LIFE, VANITY FAIR, and LIBERTY.

He published his first children’s book, AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it.  In 1954, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey challenged Geisel to write a story “first graders wouldn’t be able to put down.” And that is just what he did, using a vocabulary of only 236 words.  In 1957, Random House published THE CAT IN THE HAT, a book that continues to charm children more than 50 years later.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, and Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honours, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books.  While Theodore Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.

 

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IF I RAN THE ZOO

If i ran the zoo

After discussing the back story of the brilliant and talented Dr Seuss we launched into our first book for the term – IF I RAN THE ZOO……

Welcome to the crazy world of Gerald McGrew, who dreams of transforming his local zoo into a madcap menagerie of weird and wonderful beasts. Written in rollicking rhyme, this wacky tale is ideal for reading aloud to young children or for budding readers to enjoy on their own.

We had a wonderful activity planned in response to this book, however, we got so caught up in the biography of Dr Seuss that we didn’t get time to finish our work!  You will all have to wait until next week to see our very own wacky creatures.  I wonder if they will be crazy enough to fit the criteria for Gerald McGrew’s Zoo?

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