Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Am the Lorax. I Speak for the Trees.



I simply love a book that sparks ideas and conversation.

If I were to make a list of books in that category, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss would surely be at the top.

It's your typical Seuss-ish style, but with some deep messages attached.

You can use it for reading.

You can use it for writing.

You can use it for science.

You can use it for social studies.

I wouldn't suggest using it for spelling for obvious reasons, but you get my point. It works for just about anything which means it is perfect for integrated lessons.

Oh and there is a movie coming out next week. On Dr. Seuss' birthday.

I'm torn about that fact.

It looks colorful and whimsical and features the voice of Zac Efron (who I may or may not have had an inappropriate crush on since the original High School Musical came out at a time when I was way past the age of the targeted demographic but watched it anyhow...three times...and bought the soundtrack.), but as a general rule I don't heart when great books become movies.

Because they take away some of the magic of hearing the story through a book for the first time.

I'm looking at you Willy Wonka.

Anyhow, with Dr. Seuss' bday, Read Across America, Earth Day, the movie and spring all coming up...it only makes sense to bring The Lorax into your classroom.

And what better way to do that AND to rock a bulletin board for all to see than with photos of your kids sporting the famous Lorax 'Stache displayed with their writing projects.



I've put together a Lorax packet chock full of open-ended pages that are differentiated for grades K-5. It includes one of my 15 page Writing Packets with a Lorax theme. You can use the pages for any prompt you wish. There are pages to brainstorm, web, draft and publish.

It includes 4 full-color printables to use as titles for your bulletin board or covers for a class book or both.

I am having my third graders write about conserving natural resources. We're focusing on using less paper.

At home, my first grader and I made Truffula Trees out of pom poms and pipe cleaners. He wrote a description of the setting in the book. We focused on adjectives.

I'm going to make tissue paper poms with my class to add a 3D pop to our bulletin board when I display it next week.

The packet also includes 3 versions on pages titled with The Lorax and The Once-ler. You could use them for character sketches. We are really working on supporting our ideas with the text. I am going to have my class brainstorm character traits for each of those characters. They will select one and support it with details from the text and then illustrate it. Since the Once-ler is only seen in parts, you may want to have your learners visualize what he looks like and write a description.

There is a page that includes a quote from the book reading, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." You'll get some amazing class discussions springboarding from that quote. The pages are perfect for writing about those. Another idea would be to glue an actual seed onto the page and have the students write about what they would do if they were given the last Truffula seed.

I've enclosed a story map. It's perfect for recording details from the book or to use as a planning sheet to write their own sequel to The Lorax.

Finally, we have MY FAVORITE PART of the packet. A template for Lorax mustaches. Copy it onto yellow paper (or use white and have the kiddos color it). I used a small piece of tape to attach it, but you could also tape it to a stick and have them hold it up. Being cold, flu, and every other kind of cootie bug season I wasn't too keen on the idea of them sharing something that would be placed under their nostrils...plus they LOVED having their own 'staches and insisted on wearing them to be "in character" when they did their writing. Surprisingly it did not distract from their learning and instead motivated it.

If you want to see all of the pages included in this packet in great detail, please go to the product page and download the preview. They are all included in the sample PDF.



Are you looking for some more Lorax ideas? Check out the fun stuff I found around the web. All sources and links can be found on my Lorax Pinterest Board.
Edible Lorax Trees
I would have the kids use their fingerprints to make these. I love all projects that include handprints and fingerprints.
This was the photo that inspired the trees I built with my son.

I would love to make a class set of Lorax pencils. How much fun would that be to use when writing about the book?

I am definitely all over this project. We'll be studying plants in a few months. I'm going to replace our usual plastic cups with this super cute pot.

These are the pom poms I'm going to make for the bulletin board. Thank you Martha Stewart.

Do you have trees on your playground? Better yet is there a tree outside your classroom window? It would be so much to decorate them like this to introduce the story and build excitement before reading it.



These would look great made out of construction paper.

My son and I used clay to hold the trees, but they look super cute in these vases. If you are doing a Loarx unit or Dr. Seuss in general consider a vase of Truffula Trees on your desk.

I'll be back with more Dr. Seuss-themed ideas and resources later this weekend.

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5 comments:

  1. I would love if you linked this post to my Read Across America Linky party.

    http://learningwithmrsparker.blogspot.com/2012/02/read-across-america-2012.html

    Like you, I am torn about the movie version. I know I will be reading The Lorax before my students watch the movie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE The Lorax...it's one of my favorite all time books! We're taking our kiddidles to watch the movie..but I'll definitely be reading the book before our trip. Your unit is adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love anything Seuss! I am going to be teaching a unit on ecosystems and environment conservations the next 2 weeks, and The Lorax is going to be one of my ways to integrate literature into my science lessons.

    I am pretty sure my fifth graders will be rocking some Lorax 'staches that day ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love these ideas! I found a picture of the pom "Lorax Trees" on Pinterest, and they became part of an inspiration board for a "Lorax" party. I featured you and linked to your website. If you prefer that I not, please let me know.

    Cheers!

    r h i a n n o n
    notably noted

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello, the link for the Lorax package isn't working. Where can I find the package? Thanks, Derra

    ReplyDelete

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