Dr. Seuss Rhymes Help Students Learn To Read

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Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Mia Freeburg’s kindergarten class celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The children’s author writes rhyming books that help kids learn to read.

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Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Kindergarten student Blake McRae eats green eggs.

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Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Emma Paine, Cheyenne Boyce and Raci Miranda (left to right) wear hats they made to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

On March 2, Dr. Seuss would have turned 105 had he still been alive. Every year around this time, students across the nation celebrate the pioneering author with elation.

Seuss’ rhymes help students learn to read.

A bet Seuss took to write turned into a short book. As a result, “Green Eggs and Ham” was born, and a beginning reader now has that great literary teacher. A tale 50 words long was the goal that was drawn by a fellow who wanted to test Seuss’ writing mettle.

Seuss succeeded and now children everywhere need not be defeated by reading.

In Pine last week, kindergarten teacher Mia Freeburg dyed eggs green. And at the Payson library, students did gather with minimal chatter to hear Seuss’ stories. All made hats and likely fancied the cat in one particular tale.

Freeburg devoted all last Wednesday to Seuss-related lessons — a poem, a hopping contest and hat-making activity educated students about literacy.

When you’re young and learning manners, lessons are more than fun — they’re rules for life, good for everyone.

“Those of you who are quiet get eggs first,” Freeburg said. Perhaps it’s true, knowledge for life comes in kindergarten for tykes.

Before making green eggs, Freeburg read to her students “Hop on Pop.” Hopping also gives good lessons. A hopping contest — Freeburg measured each student’s hop with string — brought the realization that height is everything.

Once back inside, Freeburg taped all the strings onto a bulletin board, and students discovered that people who are tall can hop farther than short people can at all.

“We’re going to do everybody’s (string),” said Freeburg. “Everybody’s important.”

“Why do we love Dr. Seuss?” she asked her students.

“He thinks about us,” said one. He makes reading fun!

“He rhymes and that’s a really big thing in teaching us how to read and how to write,” said Freeburg.

Freeburg’s class was in Pine, but kids at Payson’s library last Tuesday also had a good time.

Stories they heard and hats they made. Reading they’ll hopefully love and never get enough of.

Library Assistant Director Margaret Goodell, who dressed as the cat from the “The Cat in the Hat,” said, “he appeals to all ages.”

“His stories are fun,” said Lori Wiechmann. Her son, Jonathon, 7, started reading Seuss at 4.

“I think the rhymes force them to pay attention,” said John Wiechmann.

Goodell said Seuss first wrote stories to help illiterate children learn how to read.

According to the official Dr. Seuss Web site, the fledgling children’s author wrote the 220-word “The Cat in the Hat” in response to a magazine article that shunned children’s books as un-fun.

Educators and parents say Seuss is hardly boring. And with activities like making paper hats and eating green eggs, the Doc’s birthday keeps them from snoring.

After eating green eggs for the very first time, kindergarten students in Freeburg’s class lined up on a dime to exit the kitchen and return to class.

Off to read “Green Eggs and Ham” they went, with firsthand experience to pepper the event.

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