Dr. Seuss Science Activities

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Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote more than 60 published books. Some of these books had themes of waste and pollution. You can use other Seuss books as jumping-off points for science lessons or themes of food safety.

1 The Lorax

The waste of natural resources is the theme of "The Lorax." The story is about an entrepreneur called the Onceler, who chops down truffla trees to make sweater-type garments called thneeds. The business thrives but the environment suffers. A creature named the Lorax warns of the environmental disaster that will come if the Onceler continues to pursue his unsustainable manufacturing policies. "The Lorax" is an effective story to weave into lessons about reuse. An activity that can be pursued, if you have not yet implemented this, is to create areas for recycling in the classroom with bins for juice boxes, paper and glass. Encourage students to bring their lunches in lunch boxes and reusable bags instead of paper bags. Asking children to bring items that have been recycled into the classroom is another way to interest students in recycling.

2 10 Apples Up on Top

"10 Apples Up On Top" is about animals that balance apples on their heads. To fit in with the theme, you can plant apples seeds in foam cups. You will need cups for each student, dirt and apple seeds. Ask the children to fill the cups with dirt and press the apple seeds into the cups. Water the seeds and keep the dirt moist. Chart the growth of the seeds throughout the month.

3 Horton Hears a Who

"Horton Hears a Who" is a story about an elephant that finds a dust speck containing tiny creatures called Whos. Horton becomes their champion for survival despite opposition from the other animals in the jungle. This story offers an interesting opportunity to see what creatures and matter create dust. You will need microscopes, flat glass slides, cover slides, pipettes and dust collected from around the classroom. Preparing the slides involves placing dust on a flat slide, piping a drop of water on the slide and putting the cover slide over the water-held dust. Put the prepared slide under the microscope and record on a chart what is seen in the microscope.

4 Horton Hatches the Egg

"Horton Hatches the Egg" is a story about Horton the Elephant, who is tricked by a bird named Mayzie into sitting on her egg while she flies off to have fun. The story follows the tribulations of the elephant as he keeps his word to Daisy “one hundred percent” to sit on the egg. The story could be a start to studying the incubation of an egg and the life cycle of a baby chick, as well as other newborn animals.

5 Gerald McBoing Boing

"Gerald McBoing Boing" is a story about a little boy who speaks in noises instead of words. The story can be used to explore the properties of sound. Students can find out how the larynx works by a simple experiment that requires no equipment but themselves. Ask the children to put their hand midway and firmly on their throats and say, “Ahhh!” very loudly. They should feel the vibration of the sounds on their hands.

6 Green Eggs and Ham

"Green Eggs and Ham" is about an unnamed protagonist who is persuaded by a creature named Sam into eating eggs and ham that are green. This story can be expanded to the theme of food safety. Buy enough bananas for each child to have one, and ask the children to place the fruit into plastic bags. Label bags with each child's name. Let the bananas sit on a counter for a few days and record the results on a chart day by day for a week. Dispose the experiments into the garbage or a compost bin.

Anne Cagle has been writing ever since she was a toddler who could scribble with crayons. Her first published article, at age 12, was in a teachers' newsletter. She was published in "Optical Prism" magazine and has worked as a reviewer for the Webby Awards. She holds a degree in English from the University of Oregon.