Lesson Plans for "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
"The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss provides a great way to teach students about Earth Day, and environmental issues.
By Cathy Neushul
At the far end of town
where the Grickle-grass grows
and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows
and no birds ever sing excepting the crows . . .
is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.
That's how one of the most famous books by Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax", begins as it tells a tale of deforestation, greed, and the future. As any teacher, student, or parent can tell you "The Lorax" is the type of book that can send chills down your spine. It starts with a small boy listening to the Once-ler tell the story of how the land became devoid of trees and animals.
When the Once-ler first came to the area it was full of Truffula Trees, Bar-ba-loots, and was home to the Lorax. The Once-ler decides to make thneeds, which "everyone, everyone, everyone needs", and cuts down all the Truffula Trees. The lakes and the air become polluted, there is no food for the animals, and it becomes an inhospitable place to live.
This simple, yet beautiful, story can get to the heart of what it means to protect the environment. It all comes down to the choices made by one person. It may be only one seed, or one tree, or one garden, but together it means something. Teaching "The Lorax" lesson plans are a great way to make Earth Day, and other environmental topics, understandable for children of any grade level.
"The Lorax" Lesson Plans And Activities :
Barbaloot Suits: Protecting Diversity: Students read "The Lorax" and learn about real life examples of plant species that are becoming extinct. They learn about the work of Mark Olson, a botanist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. His work in Mexico to preserve plant species is used as an example. At the end of the activity students create a poster to tell the story of "The Lorax". While the lesson is designed for younger students, it could be used at any grade level.
About Protecting The Earth: Students are read a variety of books, including "The Lorax", in order to prompt discussions about recycling, air pollution, endangered species, and other environmental issues. Students then write a letter persuading a particular audience about the importance of conservation, and protection of our resources.
The Lorax Explorations: In this lesson students read and discuss "The Lorax", and then engage in a number of different activities. They can write a letter to the editor giving their opinion, create a story chart, or write a follow up called "The Lorax II" which tells what happened to the last Truffula seed.
Recycling!: Students read "The Lorax", and use it to make connections to environmental issues. In particular, students focus on garbage and recycling. They create "litter journals" and come up with suggestions of ways to handle our refuse.
The Air We Have Around Us: In this lesson students learn about air pollution. Students learn vocabulary words such as ozone, acid rain, and smog. "The Lorax" is used as a way to reinforce these concepts. Students also are asked to conduct experiments, and do math activities.
Deforestation: Students are read "The Lorax" as a way to begin a discussion on deforestation. They discuss how their community would be effected if there were no more trees. Students are encouraged to become involved in planting trees.