Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

We celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss by reading many of his books today.  The rhyming is fun, and critical to children’s language and literacy development.  Dr. Seuss knew how to make learning fun!

Then, things took a turn.  A wonderful turn.  Children wanted to draw a picture for Dr. Seuss and write him a letter.  They took it upon themselves to tackle this project.  No teachers intervened or helped.  My wonderful co-teacher Heidi, the wise one, knew to let the children embark on their mission.  She was there to write their words.  She helped them find Dr. Seuss’s address, and addressed the envelope.  Giving children freedom, encouragement, and positive reinforcement makes a world of difference.  Dr. Seuss died over 30 years ago, but for children who love his books, that doesn’t matter at all.


Dear Dr. Seuss,

Enclosed is a picture made by Michelle and Hazel (age 4) from Groton Community School in Groton Massachusetts.  They were excited to celebrate your birthday in school and wanted to give you a gift of a drawing.  Once they completed it, they just had to send it to you!  We used the iPad to to find your museum and address.  We hope to hear back from your museum soon.  Below are their words:

“Dear Dr. Seuss, we made a picture of a gumball machine.  We love you!  How old are you?  What number are you going to turn?  We wrote ‘Hazel’ and ‘Shelly’.  We’d thought you’d like a dinosaur!”

Love,

Hazel and Michelle (Shelly)
& Heidi (Teacher)
Aqua Classroom at Groton Community School

We especially enjoyed connecting a huge Dr. Seuss puzzle today.  Look at how many of his books are represented in the alphabet.

I am a poor reader.  Learning how to read was not easy for me.  The books that schools used to teach reading were the “Dick and Jane” books.  They had simple stories about family and home and pets, but learning how to read those words was not easy.  Along came Dr. Seuss.   His method of learning how to read was based on rhyming and repetition.  Making those stories fun kept the child who was learning to read engaged.  Unfortunately most schools thought his books were just silly.  Yet, there were some schools who adopted his books instead of the Dick and Jane books.  Vermont did.  I’m sure those children flourished.  I dearly wish my learning how to read books had been Dr. Seuss.  He was right!  It’s a no brainer today – Dr. Seuss books are the books of choice.

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Book Review, books, children's books, Early Education, Inspiration, museums, reading, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

  1. What a wonderful thing to do. I’m sure the good Doctor is pleased.

  2. Jennie says:

    Thank you, John. I think he is pleased.

  3. Pingback: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    I wonder what will become of the letter. Someone may still be corresponding from that address. Regardless how great the kids completed their idea. Some years I’ve been a guest “celebrity” reader for Reading Across America Today. They must have been desperate. 🤣

    • Jennie says:

      I wonder, too. It’s a museum, so they must get mail. It would be wonderful for the children to hear back from Dr. Seuss. 🙂 I know you were the best reader on Read Across America Day!!

  5. Dan Antion says:

    Our daughter learned to read from Dr. Seuss well before starting kindergarten. Happy Birthday!

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks for telling me, Dan. I sent home some of my Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman books with one of my students over February break, as he is learning to read. Yesterday I asked him if he liked “Green Eggs and Ham (my favorite) and he said no. At least he’s honest! I remember your doors blog post on the museum.

  6. Jim Borden says:

    what a fun filled day celebrating one of the greats. I wonder how many people developed a love of reading because of Dr. Seuss…

  7. Mireya says:

    Yes, it is fun to read these books. I am glad and wish all teachers could allow the children to take it from here and yeah thanks for the encouragement.

  8. Always loved this day when I was teaching!

  9. Ritu says:

    Happy birthday to Dr. Seuss!
    I’m sure he’d be thrilled!

  10. beth says:

    what a fun way to celebrate the doc !

  11. Darlene says:

    How wonderful. Silly books are the best for kids. I learned to read by my dad reading the funny papers (comics) from the newspaper to me. By the time I got to Dick and Jane, I already knew how to read but I liked the dog, Spot. I´m sure Dr Seuss will love his letter. He did so much for reading and kids, bless him.

    • Jennie says:

      I liked Spot the dog, too (more than Puff the cat). The silly books are some of the best. Thank you, Dr. Seuss. Yes, I think he would have liked this letter.

  12. Norah says:

    Silly rhyming stories are fun and entice children into reading. It’s wonderful to see children so engaged with literacy.

  13. How I hated the Dick and Jane books when I was in first grade. They were so boring!

  14. What a wonderful tribute for the one who gave us wonderful gifts. I was schooled in the Dick and Jane tradition – oh boy. I wonder – how long did they last?

    • Jennie says:

      I wondered, too! I looked it up- they lasted from 1930 to 1970. Now I’m sorry I looked it up, as that’s rather depressing. They were stories which had nothing to do with learning how to read words. Thank you, Frank. It was a fun day, and Dr. Seuss is certainly deserving.

  15. That class and those children are having a ball!! How wonderful to draw pictures for Dr Seuss. Jennie having fun again.

  16. Kara Aharon says:

    I love Dr. Seuss! No child should grow up without him.

  17. The first book both my kids learned to read was Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. The picture and letter your students wrote and drew are lovely. I’m sure the museum will be thrilled to see and read them. I hope you hear from them soon.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes! That’s a wonderful book. I hope the picture and letter put a smile on the face of the museum people. Hearing back would be a great thing for the children. Thanks so much, Deborah.

  18. K.L. Hale says:

    Bravo!! What a delight! I always love celebrating his birthday! That letter is so precious.

  19. quiall says:

    I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books and they still have a warm place in my heart. I hope children of today can look back 50 years after and remember how well they felt when they read a book.

  20. I have a feeling that somehow, somewhere, Dr. Suess is quite aware of this letter and of all the children who have learned to not just read, but to ENJOY reading, thanks to his wonderful and special books.

  21. beetleypete says:

    So good to see the children wanting to write real letters, then actually post them in envelopes, with real stamps. That is dying out fast, and needs to be encouraged everywhere.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      I wish all teachers felt that way. It makes the activity more meaningful, with a stronger message. Children are left feeling their ideas and work have real meaning. Plus, it is exciting and fun! Best to you, Pete.

  22. Ally Bean says:

    Writing a letter, sending it somewhere, what a great project for kids. Especially when it involves Dr. Suess. I grew up reading Dick & Jane [& Sally & Spot & Puff] at school, but at home we had Dr. Suess books. Loved them all, but Green Eggs and Ham was my personal favorite.

    • Jennie says:

      You had ‘the good stuff’ at home! Green Eggs and Ham is absolutely my favorite, too.
      We write letters at school whenever a great moment presents itself. It gives children pride, and helps their literacy skills. And, it’s fun! Last year we wrote to Queen Elizabeth, and she answered back. We also wrote to Boston Dynamics, as we love their robots. They wanted to Zoom with the children. Can you tell I love teaching? 🙂

  23. It’s a National holiday, almost, yes? My granddaughter came home bringing pictures she drew of The Cat in the Hat.

  24. What a wonderful idea you had. I am sure the students will never forget, also because you used a red envelope, similar to the red phone of the president. ;-)) xx Michael

  25. Kally says:

    I don’t really always get his stories but he is one of my daughter’s favourite authors.

  26. Carla says:

    I wish everyone celebrated Dr. Suess’ birthday, they would be so much happier. You can’t be grumpy reading Dr. Seuss.

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