Going along with our Author of the Month unit about Dr. Seuss, I will be reading the book, Green Eggs and Ham.
Boys and girls, how many of you are familiar with the story of Green Eggs and Ham? One of my favorite things about this book is that it has many rhymes in it. I like the way Dr. Seuss played with words when he wrote his stories.
As I read this story today, think about which things might be real and which things might not. Many times when Dr. Seuss wrote stories, he put very ridiculous characters and situations into his books. Who thinks they know what ridiculous means? Can you show me a ridiculous face? That is pretty silly. When I say Dr. Seuss's stories are ridiculous, I mean that the ideas are so silly they are hard to believe.
So when I read to you today, you are going to be looking for three things: what is real, what is not real, and what is too ridiculous. When you find these things, I am going to ask you not to shout them out, but instead, I want you to "pop" these ideas into your heads and "Storing ideas in our brains" Let's begin our story.
I read the story with enthusiasm.
I like to do this lesson with my students because some of them still struggle with the concept of reality versus fantasy. Do you think that Dr. Seuss' stories are more realistic or more nonsense? Yes, they are mainly nonsense. What are some things that you think are not real? The children list some of the more ridiculous things. Have you ever tasted green eggs and ham? Are these things that you can buy at the grocery store? What makes the idea of green eggs and ham not realistic? Let's make a list of some of your favorite foods that can be bought at the grocery store. This list will be our word bank for your writing a little bit later.
The children list some of their favorite foods. As I write the list, I try to link two foods together: Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Nuggets and French Fries, Pizza and Breadsticks, Peanut butter and Jelly, etc.
Look at the list we are making. Do you see a connection between what you have said and how I wrote the words on the board? Look carefully for one of your popcorn words (Sight words that "pop" into your head.) We see the word "and". This is a word that links ideas together, like macaroni and cheese.
During Word Work time, you will be creating a shopping list to take to the imaginary Dr. Seuss store. Since you have shared that adding a different color like green to eggs and ham made it nonsense, you will be using a color word and a food combination to create your own silly food list. Let's try writing blue macaroni and cheese. Where would we look in our classroom if we needed to write the color blue? Yes, we would check our word wall or the color charts in the art center. Where would we find macaroni and cheese? In our word bank. What would you do if you wanted a word, but could not find it in the word bank? (various answers are given) This is how I want you to make your lists of six new grocery store items.
I use this idea of ridiculousness to help the children determine between what is real and what is not. I am really trying to emphasize that green eggs are not something we see or eat everyday. My hope is to get the children to notice how words, (like color words at this level), can add meaning to their writing. We have already been studying color words, so I what to give them an opportunity to choose color words to describe their favorite foods. We then will take and change the real colors for colors that might be considered ridiculous and write these as a list. The children get practice writing and using these sight words as descriptors while having fun making their silly shopping lists.
After the students have made their lists, they will read them to a buddy, and then to an adult who is working in the room. I have the children read to a buddy first to see if they can recall and read what they have written. There often isn't time for me to listen to each children read and reread their writing, so by reading to their buddies first, they can do a first edit before I sit down and look over their work.
The following day we will have a tasting party with some of the concoctions that they children have created, including the green eggs and ham.