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What started as a birthday tribute to the popular children’s author Dr. Seuss, has blossomed into a week-long celebration of reading. Read Across America Week, beginning March 2nd, is the perfect chance for teachers to explore reading-related activities in the classroom. Dr. Seuss said it best, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back relax, all you need is a book.”

Use the following suggestions to encourage your students to explore the joys and magic of reading.

Read a Book You Love

Whether it’s Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein that have your heart or you loved the Harry Potter series, sharing your childhood favorites can introduce students to new reading materials. Teachers can show students some of the timeless classics to spark their interest in reading. If you’re searching for ideas, you can’t go wrong with reading a book written by Dr. Seuss himself.

Let Your Students Share

Use this week as an opportunity for students to share their favorite stories. Have students work a show-and-tell by bringing in a representation of their favorite book and explaining how it relates to the story. Have them bring books they like or find interesting and give them the chance to tell a little bit about the story. See if they can talk about the book without revealing any spoilers!

Get All Ages Involved

Dr. Seuss is known for his children’s books, but students of all grades should be instilled with a love of reading. Barnes and Noble offers this great list of books for high school students. Show your students that there is more to reading than completing their history homework. Books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas cover heavy topics but will keep your students engrossed tothe last page.

Brainstorm Book Ideas

Give the students a creative writing prompt to come up with a short paragraph, or just a couple of sentences, about a book they would enjoy reading. See if they can take it from there to develop a full plot. Let them share their ideas with the class. This activity will give students a better understanding of the creative process for book writing. Additionally, they will get a glimpse at the endless possibilities of narratives, so they see there are books out there for all tastes.  

For more reading activities, visit Sign-Up Genius and Teach Junkie for access to many Dr. Seuss related worksheets and information.

Substitute Teachers

If you’re teaching during Read Across America week, consider how this celebration can apply to your class. Elementary subs will appreciate this list of Dr. Seuss inspired books. History substitutes can recommend inspiring biographies and science subs in any field can recommend one of these enlightening books.

In short, the goal next week is to show the power of storytelling. This includes the imaginative, silly or scary, adventure-filled narratives told through books. Lastly, Dr. Seuss has a bit of advice, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

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