Read Across America 2013: Reading Comprehension and Seuss-Themed Resources for TeachersFebruary 25, 2013 | Matt Davis
Dr. Seuss's 109th birthday is March 2, and since 1998, Read Across America has shared the same date. Each year, teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to read their favorite books together to honor the author who once said, "You’re never too old, too wacky, or too wild to pick up a book and read to a child."
Seuss, who was born Theodor Seuss Geisel, left behind quite the cannon. His 46 children’s books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, and for many readers, his books provide some of their first reading memories. In fact, Dr. Seuss' goal was to pen books that children found fun and exciting to read. There's a reason most feature a beginner's vocabulary. The "Cat in the Hat," for instance, uses about 250 words, and there are just 50 different words in the favorite "Green Eggs and Ham," (a bet the author won.)
Now with Read Across America, which was founded by the National Education Association, everyone can celebrate reading. There are plenty of great resources for teachers on the Web, and this collection features some of the best. Along with lessons plans and resources to bring Dr. Seuss's books into the classroom, included are also some reading comprehension and literacy resources for teachers.
- Classroom Resources from Seussville: One of the best places to find Dr. Seuss teaching resources is the author’s personal website -- Seussville. Produced by Random House, here you’ll find a trove of great resources, including an interactive biography page, activities for Read Across America, The Cat in the Hat Learning Library, and plenty of lesson plans and printables for the classroom.
- Teaching with Dr. Seuss from Scholastic Teacher: Scholastic Teacher features this great list of Dr. Seuss-themed lesson plans, activities, and unit packages perfect for March 2 or any day of the year. Along with this Seuss-specific page, Scholastic has also produced a Read Across America page, featuring ideas to help get students excited about reading.
- Read Across America Resources from ReadWriteThink: Several K-2 lesson plans are presented here from ReadWriteThink, as well as a high school lesson plan that asks students to think about the social issues presented in the works of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.
- The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!: These resources from PBS are designed for the TV series, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” The series, which was produced to get students excited about science, is available on DVD, and these companion resources feature in-depth classroom activities and lesson plans for each episode.
Reading Comprehension Resources
- Reading Rockets Resources for Teachers: Reading Rockets is a literacy project geared toward younger readers, and on their Read Across America page, there are plenty of resources for using Dr. Seuss’s works in the classroom. Included on the page are Seuss-themed classroom strategies, reading resources for home use, and outside links to some wonderful Read Across America resources. This is a great reading resource throughout the year.
- Resources to Get Reading from the NEA: The National Education Association has produced some useful reading resources for parents and teachers. Along with great information for Read Across America events, there are also tips for reading aloud, ideas for encouraging all students to read, and strategies for reading to infants and toddlers. Here, there’s also a trove of reading lists for students that cover a variety of themes and topics.
- Special Reading Fun from Education World: Here, Education World has put together a great list of reading lessons and classroom games that work well for March 2. There are also some great outside links, as well as links to Education World's reading-related content.
- Dr. Seuss for Older Students from AdLit: These resources from AdLit.org are perfect for students in grades 4-12, and author Rachel Walker offers some great ideas for teaching older students about the social impact and activism of Dr. Seuss. AdLit is a great resource for teachers.
Edutopia's Literacy Resources
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Read Across America: Edutopia's VideoAmy produced this great playlist of Read Across America videos for last year's festivities. If you're looking for some inspiration, this is a great place to start.
- How Important is Teaching Literacy in All Content Areas?: Edutopia blogger Rebecca Alber writes about the importance of teaching literacy in all subject areas in this blog post. She also offers ideas for teaching literacy through reading, writing, and speaking in every classroom.
- Parent Involvement in Early Literacy: This is a great blog for parents looking for ways to read with their children. Blogger Erika Burton notes some of the research about how children learn to read and offers tips and strategies for engaging young readers.