Editor’s Note: This year, Read Across America day is Monday, March 3—a day later than usual. We published this reading-themed blog post last year for Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and it was a huge hit with readers. This year, we’ve updated the post to include a few new resources. (Updated 02/2014)
Each year, teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to read their favorite books together in early March to honor Dr. Seuss, 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 canon. 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, Seuss’s 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. (Seuss’s editor had bet him that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words.)
On Read Across America Day, which was founded by the National Education Association, everyone can celebrate reading. There are plenty of great resources for teachers online, and this collection features some of our favorites. Along with lessons plans and resources to bring Dr. Seuss’s books into the classroom, there are also some general reading resources that feature useful tips, tools and strategies for engaging readers.
- 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 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 high school lessons. One asks students to think about the social issues presented in the works of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, and there's another that looks at satire in popular literature.
- Dr. Seuss Resources from Reading Rockets: Reading Rockets is a literacy advocacy group 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 are Seuss-themed classroom strategies, reading resources for home use, and outside links to some wonderful Read Across America resources.
Other Fun and Inspiring Reading Resources
- 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 tips for reading aloud, ideas for encouraging all students to read, and strategies for reading to infants and toddlers.
- 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.
- Great Read-Alouds from The New York Times: The New York Times Learning Network produced this post in 2010, and since, it’s been growing every year. The post, which is perfect for Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day, features a trove of great Times content that’s perfect for teenage readers.
Some Literacy Resources From Edutopia
- 10 Ways to Cultivate A Love of Reading in Students: Elena Aguilar highlights 10 easy-to-implement ways to encourage and inspire young readers in this post.
- Read With ME: 5 Tips to Foster a Love of Reading by Lisa Dabbs (2014)
- Tools for Teaching: Developing Active Readers by Rebecca Alber (2013)
- Parent Involvement in Early Literacy by Erika Burton (2013)
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Read Across America by Amy Erin Borovoy (2012)