Developmental Literacy: 5 Minilessons for The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

Selecting the proper books to instruct students and to develop their literacy skills is very tricky. We as teachers are very creative in developing lessons.  Sometime we need to refer back to the basics!  Here you will find a list of 5 minilessons that can be done for early language learners utilizing the fun and comical book ‘The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss.  These can be used as centers or as a series of lessons which can be further built upon.  This is obviously not all that can be done, but its something to consider as we all have different perspectives when reading books.  We all share different experiences and have diverse insights that help us create our lessons.  I hope you find these lessons useful.  Let us know what you think and what has worked for you.

Mini lesson  #1

Objective: Onset and rimes

Demonstration: Read the story as a read aloud. As a group, discuss and explain the rhyming words on page 1.

For this page have chart paper with the words play and day written.  Then have students take turns figuring out other words that rhyme with these two words. (Eg. say, clay, bay, way) Hi light the onset and the rime.

Practice:

Split children up into groups of 2. Give students a piece of construction paper, fold in half.  On one side of the paper have a photocopy of one page of the story stressing one word from that page.  The other side is blank where the students are to identify the rhyming words on that story page book and write them down.

Students are then to create further rhyming words based on the ones from the page.

Respond and Share:

Regroup after 10 minutes and have students show what they have put together by placing construction paper for the class to see and determine if the words are correct.

Mini Lesson #2

Objective: To be able to recognize and distinguish between short and long vowels sounds

Demonstration:

Read the story as a read aloud.  On a chart select and write down one short “a” and one long “a” vowel sounds from page 1 of the story and write the corresponding word under the proper heading.  Then do short “e” and long “e” from page 1 as well and write the words on the chart.  One column for short and the other for long sounds for each letter.

Practice:

Have children split up into groups of 2 and have some groups find the different sounds for the letter “a” and have some find the sounds for “e”.

Provide a few pages of the story and a piece of paper so students can write what they have found in the correct column.

Respond and Share:

Then have students return to full group class mode and create a large chart for long and short vowel sounds.  As a group review the words found and post them on the chart.  Students read the words aloud in unison with teacher direction to hear the differences between sounds.

Mini Lesson #3

Objective: Phonemic Awareness/Phonics

Demonstration:

Read the story as a read aloud.   Have a few pictures from the book posted on a chart or the board and present via laminated cards (a few words from the book) and have children identify which picture it belongs under.

Practice:

Break up students into groups of 2.  Have pictures from the book provided to them on paper and also words from the book (all laminated).  The students are to sort according to the first letter of the word. The words can be stuck (with quick stick in order to be moved around if incorrect) under the pictures.

Respond and Share:

Re-group and display, discuss and correct (if any errors).  Have students repeat words out loud together.

Mini Lesson #4

Objective: Letter Recognition

Demonstration:

After reading the book to the group, have an enlarged copy of a page of the book displayed for the whole class to see.  Color in all the ‘b’ letters in blue and all the ‘r’ letters in red from that page. (Upper case and Lower case)

Practice:

Have activity sheets prepared for the students (all the same) with different excerpts from the book and choose two colors (green and yellow) and ask to color code specific letters (c and t).

Respond and Share:

Regroup and discuss the activity sheet.  Then create a chart for the letter c and the letter t (2 columns) and write down the words from their sheets that have those letters as beginning letters.  Have children read aloud the words in unison emphasizing the sound of the beginning letter.

Mini Lesson #5

Objective: Letter Recognition

Demonstration:

Have students sit in two rows facing each other.  Give the team leader a paper hat.  Hold up letters from the alphabet (upper case and lower case) and if a team guesses the letters correctly, the letter is placed in their hat.

Practice:

Separate the teams and have them recall and list what items from the book start with that letter that they have won in the initial activity and write them down. (eg. the items the cat balances)

Respond and Share:

Regroup. Create a chart to record the words.  The team with the most words that relate to the story wins.

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