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The Cat in the Hat

Last updated Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Author: Dr. Seuss
Date of Publication: 1957
ISBN: 0717260593
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2007

Synopsis: From Commonsensemedia.org: The Cat is almost amoral: He traipses into the house, juggles possessions, and invites his odd pals to help him trash the place. Wearing turtle necked red jumpsuits, their mops of wild blue hair streaming behind them, the kite-flying lunatics tear around "with big bumps, jumps and kicks / and with hops and big thumps / and all kinds of bad tricks." A self-appointed baby-sitter/morality czar, the grumpy goldfish is a perfect foil for the Cat. However, the Cat is not shameless. After the boy finally asserts himself and orders the fun-loving feline to "pack up those Things" and hit the road, the Cat is the picture of remorse. Even his whiskers and bow tie droop. Following his mournful exit, he redeems himself by riding back in on a typically Seussian gizmo--a sort of cleanup-mobile--and its white-gloved mechanical hands tidy up in a twinkling.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you read any Dr. Seuss books?
•  Have you read this book?
•  Rhyming words: cat and hat- what other words rhyme?
•  Who is the Cat in the Hat?
•  Do cats wear hats?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do you do on rainy days?
•  Should they listen to the fish? Or the cat?
•  Do you think trying to balance everything is a good idea? What will happen? Could you do it? Count the things he is balancing.
•  Talk like a fish/cat
•  Can you fly a kite in the house? Why or why not? Have you ever flown a kite?
•  What’s in the box?
•  Do you have pet fish or any pets?
•  What are good games to play in the house?
•  There are many words which are describing sounds—Plop! Thump, Bump etc….Have the kids act out the sounds
•  After: Do you think this story could really happen?

Craft ideas:
•  Make the cat’s hat: Take a white paper (vertical) and red paper. Cut out strips of red paper and glue on white paper. Take a longer piece of paper and cut lengthwise. Attach that to the bottom to secure to the head.
•  Make a kite using construction paper, straws/popsicle sticks and yarn. Cut out a kite shape using the construction paper. You can have the kids color or draw on one side of the kite. Tape the straws/popsicle sticks to the middle back in a cross shape. Attach the yarn to the straws/popsicle sticks.

*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!