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This month marks the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the Read Across America March celebration of Reading. Everyone is encouraged to pick up a book and read to a child.

” You are never too old, too wacky, too wild, To pick up a book and read to a child.”

It was a chance for us to have a wonderful morning of celebration at the preschool with the parents and children.

Every five or six weeks, we gather as children, parents, and teachers together to enjoy a morning of fun and learning. This time, we arrived with Dr. Seuss books in hand.

Arrival time gave parents a chance to read to the children until morning meeting. We have morning meeting every morning to greet the children, tell them what is happening in their day, and tell the choices inside the classroom that are new that day..

Morning meeting this time started with a reading of The Cat in the Hat. Then the children stood up and tried to recreate some of the balancing moves of the Cat.  Ty and the children also introduced the parents to their favorite movement song and everyone was up and moving.

The last part of the meeting introduce to  the parents and the children a book they were going to create together, in the spirit of Dr. Seuss’ All About Me Book .

The parents and children went to tables stocked with art supplies and found their own ALL about Me books.

Together, they worked to answer the questions on the pages. With measuring tapes, they found how tall they were; with pens, they drew around their hands and compared sizes. They wrote about who was in their family and about their pets.  They answered questions that began, I  like…., I wish…., I am afraid of…., I dream about…., and if I were an animal, I would be….

They created self-portraits. It was such an involved and fun time as children and their parents learned lots about each other.

Then it was time to adjourn to the other room and have snack. Snack’s culmination, of course, was singing Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss and eating Angel Food cake. It was a great morning filled with books, movement, and learning about ourselves. Dr. Seuss was always a master of having great fun while helping children learn.

Dr. Seuss is an author who  easy to undervalue because his books seems so light and fun. However, his books are actually quite useful as well.  He began a reading movement during a time when the books schools used to teach reading were very  dull. He felt that books that taught reading could be captivating and good learning at the same time. His books were designed have roughly 200 words and to incorporate repetition and rhyme so that children could develop mastery and experience success. They included  sight words that children would need to master.

He joined with Phyllis and Bennet Cerf, major editors at Random House, to create the Beginning Reading series. They invited some other excellent children’s authors to write using the same format. You probably know some, Go Dog Go and Are You my Mother? ; they are favorites at the school. This writing effort has not only brought great happiness to children for many years but also proved that children learn best when they are presented with material that delights as well as instructs.

Other books of Dr. Seuss have a meaningful messages about topics such as environmentalism and social justice. The Lorax, for example, is a remarkable story about a character “who speaks for the trees”.  He felt books could be interesting and also convey important values. Please check through Amazon.com for his many offerings.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss and Thank You.

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