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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 1: Prior to reading


Set up a Reading Centre with Dr Seuss books and a Learning Centre with related activities:

# Create another "egg" for Horton to hatch. Draw a picture of the animal that will eventually hatch. Encourage creativity, eg. like the elephant/bird in the story.

# Discuss with the class what it means to never give up on something you want. Tell the class how Dr Seuss' first book was turned down by more than 25 publishers.
Shared writing with the class - a journal entry of something they would like to do and or something they did because they never gave up trying.

# Teacher to work with the group. Discuss the illustrations, for example the picture of winter with icicles hanging from Horton. What do students think was used for these illustrations? Using black pen, crayon, dye or paint students illustrate Horton during one of the seasons sitting on the egg or the egg when it finally hatches with its elephant ears, trunk and tail just like Horton.

# Teacher and students work together. Discuss with the students being a true and faithful friend, being responsible. Write Horton a thank you note from Mayzie.

# Make a class graph of favourite Dr. Seuss books!

# Make posters advertising other books.

# Book "selling". Posters on bulletin board to "sell" books.

Bookmark Dr Seuss sites for students:

Studying the Characters of a Story

  • While reading and sharing the different stories, keep a list on a class chart of the different characters in the stories.


  • Teacher initiates a discussion about Dr. Seuss. What books by Dr Seuss have you read? Who was Dr Seuss?

KWL Chart

  • Introduce a KWL Chart to the students.

    Under the heading K (What we Know) the teacher lists on the board all the information students know or think they know about the Dr Seuss. Then list all the information students want to know about Dr Seuss under W, (What We Want to Know). At the end of the unit the students return to the chart read and discuss what was originally listed and identify what they learned. The teacher lists what the students learned under L (What We Learned). Add to this chart as students/class gather information during the unit.

    NB. There may be students who have not heard of or read books written by Dr Seuss.


  •  Introduce Horton Hatches the Egg.

    Prior to reading discuss:

    • What do you know about hatching an egg?
    • What do you think might be inside the egg Horton is sitting on?
    • What do we know about elephants, a circus?
    • What do we think being responsible means?
    • Is keeping a secret or a promise important? Why? Why not?

    Record student ideas on a chart.

Published on: 07 Apr 2009