Dr. Seuss Poetry Project
Language Arts 8 – Mr. Briggs
UNLESS someone like you
Cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
From ‘The Lorax’. By Dr. Seuss
Originally published 1970
And the turtles, of course…
All the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe
All creatures should be.
From ‘Yertle The Turtle’. By Dr. Seuss
Originally published 1958
The final lines of these two Dr. Seuss stories “tip us off to the fact that Dr. Seuss is teaching
us a lesson. In fact it is rare that a Dr. Seuss book does NOT teach us a lesson.”
“Dr. Seuss a teacher? Of course! A teacher of tolerance (The Sneetches). A teacher of reading
(Cat In The Hat, Green Eggs And Ham). A teacher of Ecological awareness (The Lorax). A
teacher against the nuclear arms race (The Butter Battle Book). A teacher of sympathy for the
underdog (Yertle The Turtle).
“I am naïve enough to believe,” Dr. Seuss said in 1984, “that society will be changed by
examination of ideas through books and the press, and that information can prove to be greater
than the dissemination of stupidity.”
On his deathbed in 1991, Dr. Seuss said, “The best thing I can think of to leave with the
kids…would be: We can…and we’ve got to…do better than this.” Then he crossed out the words
kids and but the word ‘we’.
So let’s try.
Create a thematic children’s book in the style of Dr. Seuss.
YOUR PROJECT SHOULD SHOW ME YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE FOLLOWING
- Rhythm: The pattern of beats or stresses in spoken or written language.
In other words, Dr. Seuss’ writing/poetry followed a rhythmic pattern. Go back to the
stories we examined in class, figure out the rhythms. Ask yourself: How many beats does
he have in his lines of poetry? Is it the same throughout a piece? Does it stop? What
type of impact might that have? You need to ensure your project has rhythm.
- Rhyme: Matching word sounds; often used in poetry.
- Rhyme Scheme: A pattern formed by the rhymes, often in a poem.
- Figurative Language: Writing that contains words or phrases, called figures of speech
(remember them! Simile, Metaphor, Hyperbole, Personification, Onomatopoeia, and
Alliteration), that are not literally true but make you see something in a new way.
- Theme: The message or point of a piece of writing. In other words: Theme is the main
idea the author wishes to communicate by writing the piece. Theme is never directly
stated in the piece. It is implied by the actions of the characters, and is NOT a summary
of the story.
- Rising Action: It’s not a story without this. In other words, your story should contain a
Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
- Illustrations: Yes, they should be illustrated. The illustrations should complement the
stories. A couple of things you should notice from Dr. Seuss are that he only used two or
three colours per book. Cat in The Hat is red and blue. Sneetches is light blue and yellow.
Dr. Seuss also did what is called a double page spread, usually illustrating a climactic
scene from the story. In Sneetches, Seuss did a double page spread showing the
Sneetches going round and round, on-again, off-again, in the star machines. In addition to
your other illustrations, you will create one double page spread illustration for you book.
Project Length: Your book should be 10 pages and illustrated. It should have a front and back
cover. Your text should be typed using the type face Times New Roman in 12 or 14 point.
Good Luck! Be Creative! Have fun!
What are 3 issues/topics I could have as a theme for my story?
Choose the one theme that you feel would be the best/strongest for your project. Brainstorm
three possible storylines using this theme, and write each down in a short paragraph. Use the
Graphic Organizer provided (Story Map).
Take your three ideas to your classmates, parents, and teacher. Run your three ideas by them.
Find out which one of these stories could be the most successful. Take any ideas or suggestions
that might improve your work.
This is your rough draft time. Write out the basic story. This should be in poetic form (you
know the rhythm, rhyming thing!), but could be in paragraph form. Your choice (your adding a
step, but it’s your call). Does your story include all of the required elements mentioned earlier?
Read your story to your classmates, parents and teacher. Get corrections. Feed back. Edit.
Improve. Go back and create your second draft. Maybe do some rough sketches for characters.
Map out your last rough draft. I will have a handout for this showing how Dr. Seuss mapped out
and edited Green Eggs and Ham. Basically have a typed up version of your story, cut it up and
paste it down, trying to think of each page as a unified entity. Blending rough illustration with
what could be your basic rough draft. You will also see how in Dr. Seuss books, the text is not
simply at the bottom of the page, rather in blocks with the illustration working with it.
Create your final project! Class time will be provided, but you’ll probably be so excited, you’ll
want to work at home on this!
*Don’t forget to hand in your answers for the worksheet provided (Dr. Seuss Project
Dr. Suess Project Questions
On a separate page, please answer the following questions in full sentences.
The more details you give in your answers the better they will be.
You should aim for about five to six sentences per answer, not two to three.
1) Please list the figures of speech you have used in your poem by writing down
a) the name of the figure of speech
b) the line that it appears in.
For example, your answer might look like this:
Simile (Page 2, Line 3): The daffodils danced like sunlight on a green lake.
Alliteration (Page 10, Line 2): The soul selects her own society.
*Remember your poem should contain at least one of all the following figures of speech:
Simile, Metaphor, Hyperbole, Personification, Onomatopoeia, and Alliteration.
2) How does your story reveal your theme? Give examples from your story to show how.
3) Why did you choose the colours you did?
4) Why did you choose to place your double-page spread where you did?
5) Why do your characters look the way they do?
Dr. Seuss Poetry Project Checklist
Grade 8 L.A.
Your completed Assignment is due: _______________________________
Check off if you have done the following things:
Does your story have a Theme
Have you included one example of each of the following Figures of Speech:
Have you used a rhyme scheme
Does you story have rhythm
Does your story have Rising Action:
o Rising Action
o Falling Action
Does your story have at least ten pages?
Is every page illustrated?
Have you chosen a colour scheme for your story?
Does your story have a double-page spread?
Does it have a front and back cover?
Is it totally awesome?
If you have answered yes to these questions, then you are
ready to hand-in this assignment on the date above!