Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 2, 2013

Students learn from Dr. Seuss readings

BLUEFIELD — Dr. Seuss calls to mind rhyming phrases and iconic characters such as the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch, but teachers also see opportunities to give their students some lessons in reading, literature and math.

Children and teachers donned Cat in the Hat headgear and read Dr. Seuss books to commemorate the author’s 108th birthday today. In Memorial Elementary School, teacher Sue Luterick’s first-grade class put on their hats and headed upstairs for some lessons with Principal Rebecca Peery and Title I teacher Ashley Taylor. Like many educators, they had hats, cat makeup and costumes for the day.

“Are you ready to be good listeners? Peery asked her students.

“Uh huh,” they replied with a chorus of nods for good measure.

One lesson focused on geometry. A cylinder on a hat — the students practiced drawing the shape — is a three-dimensional object. Next, there was a lesson in literature. What role does the Cat in the Hat play in his own book?

“We’re going to talk about a main character,” Peery said. “I am not Dr. Seuss. I am the Cat in the Hat.”

Dr. Seuss is the book’s author, and the Cat in the Hat is the book’s main character. And what do you do with the title of a book when you write it out?

“Do you underline the title of a book?” Peery asked.

“Yes!” the students replied.

“Have you ever written a sentence?’ she asked.

All of the children raised their hands. That meant they were authors.

Occasions like the birthday of Dr. Seuss gives teachers a chance to link different subjects.

“What we’re trying to do is incorporate different aspects of our curriculum,” Taylor said. “The students do a combination of reading, science and literacy skills.”

Each of the students had his or her own favorite Dr. Seuss book. After a moment’s thought, 6-year-old Arionna Starkey said her favorite was “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Her classmate Isabella Disibbio, 6, also likes to read “Green Eggs and Ham.” The books she likes to read are “mostly by Dr. Seuss.”

The lessons the students heard Friday covered some topics a person might not expect from Dr. Seuss. Austin Lockett, 7, liked the lesson about insects and their different parts. And his favorite Dr. Seuss book is “The Fox & the Socks.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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