“Land ho,” “There she blows,” and ” I do not like green eggs and ham,” are just some of the many stories usually being read aloud in schools across the nation on March 2nd. In May 1997, the National Education Association (NEA) came up with as idea for Read Across America, to celebrate and encourage children to become excited about reading. According to the article Background on Read Across America, “NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.”The NEA’S Read Across America began on March 2, 1998 and has become the largest celebration of reading in our country!
Teachers of students of all age groups fill the day or week surrounding March 2nd with books and activities celebrating Dr. Seuss and reading in general. Here are some inspirational ideas that you can use to celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading in general:
- After reading a few Dr. Seuss books, you can have your students create their own versions of Dr. Seuss books. Hand out book templates and let your students be the authors. They can work in pairs or independently. Give students the option of reading their versions on Read Across America Day.
- Have students choose their favorite book. Ask them to write an alternate ending to the story. On Read Across America Day have students give a synopsis of the story and then have the class take turns reading their conclusions.
- Use Dr. Suess inspired treats to incentivize students throughout the week. If you keep a reward box, replace your rewards with Dr. Seuss book marks, pencils, erasers, pens, stickers, note pads, etc.
- Choose a theme for each day of the week or on Read Across America Day and ask the class to dress up as a character from a Dr. Seuss book. Teachers can dress up and enjoy too! The class will love it! You can just choose to wear hats if that’s a better option for you.
- Read Across America is a good time to introduce your students to new authors. Have a place where kids can check out new books and authors to read. Hang posters of the authors. You and your students can add fun facts and make up quizzes about them too.
- It’s craft time! Create crafts like Dr. Seuss inspired masks, ties, socks, or these fun Lorax trees!
- Have a volunteer come to your class dressed as a Dr. Seuss character and read to your class.
- My class and I have a pajama day with breakfast and books! We come to school in our pajamas and family members join us for morning reading. The students take turns telling the class about their favorite bed time books. We draw posters of their favorite books to hang up in the classroom. Since I teach preschool, we have quiet time and I introduce books that about bedtime or napping. The students place blankets and stuffed toys around the room. I read aloud to them in funny voices and exaggerate funny sounds. Parents often ask me the titles of the books that we read during the day because the students request to read the books at home.
How do you celebrate Dr. Seuss or Read Across America in your classroom?