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The Sneetches and Other Stories

Last updated Monday, July 3, 2017

Author: Dr. Seuss
Date of Publication: 1961
ISBN: 0394800893
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2017

Synopsis: Dr. Seuss creates another timeless picture-book classic with The Sneetches and Other Stories. Are you a Star-Belly Sneetch or a Plain-Belly Sneetch? This delightful book contains four tales with deliciously subtle takes on how silly it is to be, well, silly. "The Sneetches," "The Zax," "Too Many Daves," and "What Was I Scared Of?" make this energetic compilation a must-have for every library. Full of Dr. Seuss’s signature rhymes and unmistakable characters, it’s perfect for new and lifelong Seuss fans.

Note to readers:
•  This is a book of short stories, 4 in total. The kids have probably never encountered one before.
•  The first story, The Sneetches, is about a charlatan, discrimination and bullying. The other story that I really like in the book is the last one, What Was I Scared of? You can plan to read just the first story, all of the stories, or any combination you like. The planning below is for The Sneetches.
•  Great illustrations, like all Dr. Seuss books, so be sure to do a picture walk of the first story, The Sneetches.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is your favorite Dr Seuss story?
•  Why do you like Dr. Seuss books? (the story rhymes, the funny characters, you like green eggs and ham?)
•  What rhymes with summer? with fun?


•  Sneetch – what is a Sneetch? A yellow creature with a beak.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How do the Star-Belly Sneetches look? How do the Plain-Belly Sneetches look?
•  What makes you feel like a Plain-Belly Sneetch, a Star-Belly Sneetch?
•  Were the star-bellies right to treat the plain-bellies the way they did?
•  What do you think the Sneetches learned from their day on the beach with Sylvester McMonkey McBean?
•  Was Sylvester right when he said, “You can’t teach a Sneetch?”
•  What can you do if you see someone bullying someone else?

Craft ideas:
•  Illustrate a diversity creature of your own. There are no rules to what this creature can look like. Ask each kid to tell in a sentence what makes their diversity creature unique. Some children may want to interpret this as a physical attribute (my creature has long curly hair, which makes it special) or a behavioral attribute (my creature has a great sense of humor). However they interpret it, they should highlight one unique characteristic.
•  Each kid gets a construction paper star and writes on a quality or talent that he/she has that they are proud of.
•  Draw a picture of what makes you laugh and smile.
•  Draw a picture of fun things you want to do this summer. (go to the beach, the park, the zoo ....)
•  Check our craft ideas for July on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Bring stick-on stars. Have half the kids put them on when you start reading. Then, when you get to the page with the machine, have the other kids put on stars. Then, at the appropriate time, have the first group of kids take their stars off. You might want to bring a couple of dozen starts if you want to do this because the kids will be putting stars on, taking stars off, putting stars on, and so forth! It’s what Sneetches do.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!