Seussical™ Study Guide

INTRODUCTION TO STUDY GUIDE

As you scroll through the guide you will find the usual sections included in all our guides: curriculum connections, discussion questions, units of study and more. You will also be able to click on templates, worksheets and graphic organizers. If you wish to create your own lesson plan from the study guide copy, we have created a lesson plan template for your use. We hope you will find this guide to be a useful resource. Should you have any questions or feedback or have inquiries about the use of this guide (which is copyright protected), please feel free to contact Lois Adamson, Interim Artistic Associate, Education at ladamson@youngpeoplestheatre.ca.

THEMATIC OVERVIEW

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent.”
(Horton Hatches the Egg, 1950)

“A person’s a person no matter how small.”
(Horton Hears a Who!, 1954)

These well-loved and meaningful rhymes have stood the test of time. Indeed, in our present day, when young people are faced with difficult and complex issues of social injustice, these seemingly simple ideas can be guiding lights. With our production of Seussical™, we explore this season’s theme of “No one is alone”. We encourage teachers to use and adapt the activities in our study guide to contextualize and probe challenging issues within and beyond their classroom community, and to consider the value of integrity and the defense of human rights in challenging injustice.

This study guide will help you to prepare your students to see the play and to integrate the performance into your curriculum. The pre-show lesson focuses mainly on creativity and artistic communication, including storytelling through music, drama, visual arts and dance. The post-show activities help students to delve more deeply into the themes of perseverance, standing up for what you believe in, and respect – ideas introduced by the imaginative verse of Dr. Seuss. With particular curriculum connections and objectives in place, these activities are designed to add to your students’ analysis, appreciation and enjoyment of Seussical™

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

  • Music
  • Dance
  • Language
  • The Environment

CHARACTER EDUCATION CONNECTIONS

  • Responsibility
  • Perseverance
  • Kindness and Caring
  • Respect

THEMES

  • Being True to Oneself
  • Imaginative Thinking
  • Standing Up for What You Believe In

SYNOPSIS

An adaptation of the Broadway musical for young audiences, Seussical™ brings together Dr. Seuss’s much loved books, Horton Hears a Who!, Horton Hatches the Egg, and the story of Gertrude McFuzz. Narrated by the Cat in the Hat, it centers on Horton the Elephant’s quest to save the people of Whoville, who live on a tiny speck of dust.

The play begins with Horton splashing in a pool when he hears a faint cry for help that no one else can hear. The animals in the Jungle of Nool make fun of Horton, but he refuses to ignore the Whos in Whoville, especially little Jojo, who becomes his friend. Horton places the speck of dust on a clover but it is stolen by the evil eagle, Vlad Vladikoff and dropped in a huge field of
clover.

While Horton desperately searches for his clover, Gertrude McFuzz, who has a new tail like showy Mayzie’s, tries in vain to get his attention. Mayzie appears and convinces Horton to stop searching for the Whos and to sit on her egg instead, but while he is doing this, he is captured by hunters and sent to a circus.

Gertrude finds Horton and tells him she has located the Whos, but there is still more trouble when the animals of Nool put Horton on trial and threaten to boil the speck of dust with Whoville on it. Horton entreats the Whos to make themselves heard, Jojo gives a great yell, and the animals of Nool finally hear the Whos. In the end, Horton hatches an elephant-bird that he and Gertrude decide to bring up together.

GLOSSARY

Character
A person or animal in a novel, play, etc. played by a performer; a role.

Characteristic
A trait; a distinguishing feature or quality.

Choreography
The design or sequence of steps and movements in dance.

Lyrics
The words of a song.

Melody
The main part of a musical arrangement.

Mood
An atmosphere, tone or feeling of a place or event.

Extinct
A species no longer surviving in the world.

Genre
A kind or style of art or music with particular conventions and characteristics.

Habitat
A natural environment; a living place; a home.

Harmony
In music, to sing two or more notes together at the same time.

Human Rights
Basic rights held by all living people.

Responsibility
An obligation; a required action.

Rhythm
In music, the pattern of the beat.

Promise
A commitment; an assurance to do a certain action.

Protect
To keep a person, animal or thing safe from harm.

Quatrain
A four-line stanza, usually with alternate rhymes.

Survive
To remain alive.

Tempo
The speed at which music is played.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

ABOUT DR. SEUSS

The pen name Dr. Seuss was chosen by Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) when he dropped out of college to work in advertising, draw political cartoons and write children’s books. His ironic self-granted “doctorate” title is now known around the world by adults and children alike. Dr. Seuss has been awarded a bevy of prizes, including seven honourary doctorates. Although his political cartoons were incisive, his advertisements inventive, and his Hollywood screenplays successful, it is for his children’s books, which have been translated into over 15 languages and for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, that he is best-loved.

Since his first published book in 1937, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss has divided his attention between the “Big Books” and the “Beginner Readers”. The Big Books, like the Horton stories, center on moral and ethical messages. They include Yertle the Turtle, an anti-fascist tale of a Hitler-like despot, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a hymn to anti-commercialism, and The Lorax, an ecological manifesto. The Beginner Readers are intended to make reading fun and include the extremely popular The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Pete Seeger, in an introduction to The Lorax, named Dr. Seuss as one of the most important Americans of his time. In his 44 books, he has entreated generations of children to act against injustice and to have fun while doing it. In The Lorax, his moving book about environmental destruction, Dr. Seuss wrote: “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” In charging children with the task of challenging injustice, Dr. Seuss honours young people and recognizes their capacity to ignite transformation. It is no wonder that his writing is loved by students, teachers and social activists alike.

HOW SEUSSICAL™ CAME TO BE

When Toronto producer Garth Drabinsky acquired the rights to the Dr. Seuss books in 1998, he invited the creators of Ragtime and My Favourite Year to adapt the stories into a musical. Composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens worked with Monty Python’s Eric Idle to lift Dr. Seuss’s words and images off the page.

Initially the play was a full-length musical starring Rosie O’Donnell as the Cat in the Hat, but was later trimmed down to become a more effective version for young audiences. It is this adaptation that we are producing at YPT this year.

UNITS OF STUDY

CURRICULUM EXPECTATIONS

By participating in these activities, students will:

  • apply the creative process, using the elements and conventions of music, dance and drama to communicate feelings, ideas and stories
  • communicate feelings, ideas and understandings in response to a variety of dramatic works and musical experiences
  • demonstrate an understanding of a variety of theatre forms and musical genres from the past and present, and their social contexts
  • understand and apply the elements of drama, including character, relationship, time and place, tension, focus and emphasis
  • understand and apply the elements of music, including dynamics and other expressive controls, harmony, form, duration and pitch
  • listen, in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for different
    purposes; this includes practicing active listening, inferring and interpreting skills
  • communicate effectively with different audiences for a variety of purposes
  • recognize a variety of text forms and demonstrate an understanding of how they communicate meaning
  • work individually and collaboratively to generate, gather and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience
  • identify and explain themes of geographic inquiry, including location/place, environment, interaction and movement
  • describe positive and negative ways in which human activity can aff ect resource sustainability and the health and well-being of other living creatures and the natural environment
  • identify and understand human rights, their importance and the ways in which they can be upheld
  • analyze the connection between rights and responsibilities
  • demonstrate an understanding of how characteristics such as kindness cooperation, integrity, perseverance and respect help to protect one another’s human rights

PRE-SHOW QUESTIONS – ALL GRADES

  • Why do you think people write poetry?
  • Why do you think people write stories?
  • Why do you think people sing songs?
  • Are there any similarities between poetry, stories and music?
  • Who is Dr. Seuss?
  • What Dr. Seuss stories do students know?

Although the main story of Seussical™ is based on Horton Hears a Who! and Horton Hatches the Egg, the play includes a plethora of verses from many of his other stories.

While watching the play, have your students listen for and identify lines from:

  • Horton Hears a Who!
  • Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • If I Ran the Circus
  • McElligot’s Pool
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
  • Horton Hatches the Egg
  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

 

PRE-SHOW ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY #1: CURIOUS CREATURES

Dr. Seuss is known for inventing incredible imaginary animals and plants. Have your students work together to create their own!

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will work individually and collaboratively to apply the creative process and to generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to create and present an image and accompanying story.

Materials:

  • Markers, Crayons or Other Writing Utensils
  • Plain 8.5 x 11 Sheets of Paper

Directions:

  1. Divide students into groups of three.
  2. Give each student a piece of paper. Have them fold it into three equal horizontal rows, so that you only see the top third of the page.
  3. Each student begins with their piece of paper in front of them and draws a head only in the top third of the page.
  4. Before passing their paper on to a second group member, have each student refold the paper, so that only the middle section of the paper is visible. Have each student pass their paper on to another member of their group.
  5. Each student will then create the torso of their creature in the middle third of the paper.
  6. In the same way, have the students refold their paper, so that only the bottom section is visible.
  7. Have each student pass their paper on to the third member of their group.
  8. Each student will then create the bottom of their creature.
  9. When all of the students have fi nished, have them open up their papers to discover the creatures they have invented.
  10. Working in these same groups, have students come up with names and brief descriptions of their inventions.

We would love to see your creatures and read about who they are! Please bring your drawings and descriptions with you to the theatre when you come to see the show. We will put them on display at YPT!

ACTIVITY #2: “OH, THE THINKS YOU CAN THINK”

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will understand and apply the elements of music, including harmony and pitch.

Materials:

  • Sheet Music for an Excerpt of “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think” (Appendix A)
  • We advise teachers to acquire the Seussical™ CD inorder to study the arrangements and lyrics

Directions:

  1. Learn the treble line (top staff ) with your class.
  2. Learn the base line (bottom staff ) with your class.
  3. Divide students into two groups (one group will sing the treble line and the other will sing the base line) and work together to sing the song in harmony.

Extension:

  1. Have each group devise some actions to accompany their part.
  2. Come together again and sing the song in harmony, incorporating the movement you have created.

ACTIVITY #3: LYRICS AND ARRANGEMENT

(Created by Shawn McCarthy)

The rhymes of Dr. Seuss lend themselves beautifully to musical adaptation. At the same time, creating a melody for well-known verses can change the way you say them and provide you with a new understanding of the lyrics.

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will recognize a variety of text forms and demonstrate an understanding of how they communicate meaning and will apply the creative process, using the elements and conventions of music to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories to an audience.

Materials:

  • Writing Utensils
  • Scrap Paper

Directions:

  1. Be a “Broadway” Composer:
    • Divide students into groups of approximately three or four.
    • Assign or have each group choose a favourite rhyming quatrain from a Dr. Seuss book.
    • Have each group learn their chosen quatrain.
    • Have each group create an original melody to accompany the words of their verse.
    • Once the melody has been developed, have each group practice singing it out loud.
    • Have each group present their composition to the class.
  2. Be a “Broadway” Lyricist:
    • Divide students into groups of approximately three or four
    • Assign or have each group choose a favourite character or characters from Seussical™
    • Using a Dr. Seuss writing style, have each group write an original quatrain that describes or expresses their chosen character
    • Have each group present their lyrics to the class
  3. For the Really Ambitious… Be a “Broadway” Lyricist and Composer:
    • Working in the same groups as in the previous activity, have students write an original melody to accompany their lyrics.
    • Once the melody has been developed, have each group practice singing it out loud
    • Have each group present their composition to the class.

PRE-SHOW CULMINATING ACTIVITY

ANALYZING MUSICAL GENRES

With the purpose of establishing character types and creating a mood for each scene, the music in Seussical™ is presented in a variety of styles.

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will practice active listening, inferencing and interpreting skills in order to understand a variety of musical genres and how they serve to communicate character and mood.

Materials:

  1. Chart Paper or a Chalkboard
  2. Markers or Chalk
  3. Sample music for the following musical genres:
    • Motown (Examples include songs sung by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and
      the Pips, The Supremes)
    • Lullaby (Examples include Rock-a-bye Baby, Frère Jacques, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and
      Hush, Little Baby); Teacher Prompt: Encourage students to share the lullabies they know or might sing at home with their families.
    • Latin Pop (Examples include songs sung by artists such as Selena, Luis Miguel, Julio Iglesias
      and Gloria Estefan)
    • Funk (Examples include songs sung by artists such as James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Sly and the Family Stone)
    • Broadway-style Ballad (Examples include Send in the Clowns, I Dreamed a Dream, Someone to Watch Over Me, On My Own, Somewhere, No One Is Alone)
  4. Seussical™ CD (in order to play excerpts from the songs)

Directions:

  1. Match the Song to the Genre
    • Using the sample music, play one or more examples for each of the following musical genres:
      Motown
      Lullaby
      Latin Pop
      Funk
      Broadway-style Ballad
    • Divide students into five groups and assign each group one of the aforementioned genres of music.
    • Have students listen to the examples again and brainstorm defining characteristics of the genre.
    • Write the following two columns on a piece of chart paper or blackboard:
      Songs Genres
      Solla Sollew Motown
      Monkey Around Lullaby
      Alone in the Universe Broadway-style Ballad
      Biggest Blame Fool Genres
      Amayzing Mayzie Latin Pop
    • Seussical™ CD (in order to play excerpts from the songs) from Seussical™:
      Solla Sollew,
      Monkey Around,
      Alone in the Universe,
      Biggest Blame Fool,
      Amayzing Mayzie
    • As a class, match each song with the appropriate genre.
  2. 2a. Characters
    • Divide students into five groups
    • Assign each group one of the aforementioned songs from Seussical™
    • Have students listen to their assigned song and brainstorm the characteristics attributes of what kind of character they think might sing their song.
    • Have each group present their findings to the class.
  3. 2b. Mood
    • Play excerpts from the aforementioned songs and, as a whole class, brainstorm emotion words for the mood of each song

Extension: Monkey Around:

  • Using this song, study the rhythms of funk and hip-hop that move through the song.
  • Have students analyze how this style of funk shifts into hip-hop.
  • Divide students into small groups of approximately four or five.
  • Have each group create choreography to accompany a few bars of the song.
  • Have each group present their choreography to the class.
  • Work as a whole class to learn each other’s movement and to create a dance for the whole song.

Debriefing Questions:

  1. How does the musical genre help to communicate character?
  2. How does the musical genre help to establish a specific feeling?
  3. Is it the melody, rhythm, the lyrics or the tempo that decides whether the song is cheerful or melancholy?
  4. How does the musical genre serve to define place?
  5. How does the musical genre serve to define time?

Teacher Prompt:

When they see the play, students will learn which characters sing each of these songs.m After seeing the play, have students review their findings and discover whether what they imagined the character to be like aligned with what they saw in the production.

POST-SHOW QUESTIONS – ALL GRADES

  • Why is it so difficult for Horton to convince the creatures in the Jungle of Nool that the Whos exist and should be saved?
  • Why is it especially important for children and young people’s human rights to be protected?
  • Do non-human animals and other living things also have rights that should be protected?
  • In Seussical™, Horton follows through on his promise to care for Mayzie’s egg.
  • What does it mean to make a promise?
  • Is keeping a promise a diffi cult thing to do?
  • Why are promises often broken and responsibilities ignored?

POST-SHOW ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY #1: FIND YOUR ANIMAL TWIN

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will apply the creative process, specifi cally the elements and conventions of dance and drama, to communicate feelings, ideas and character

Materials:

  • Two identical card sets with the same Seussical™ animal names on each (i.e. in each deck, there will be one Horton card, one Mayzie card, etc.); the total number of cards should be equal to the number of students in your class. Please see Appendix B for a list of possible Seussical™ characters.

Directions:

  1. Divide the class into two groups.
  2. Ask the students in the first group to take a card from the first set of cards.
  3. Ask the students in the second group to take a card from the second card set.
  4. Have students keep the card they have chosen secret.
  5. Have students move around the room, exploring the movements of their chosen Seussical™ animal.
  6. Have students fi nd the other student(s) who are exhibiting the same animal characteristics.
  7. In these pairs or groups, have students explore and expand on their animals’ body language.
  8. Then, have students create a sound to accompany their movement that expresses their animal.

ACTIVITY #1: FIND YOUR ANIMAL TWIN

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will apply the creative process, specifi cally the elements and conventions of dance and drama, to communicate feelings, ideas and character

Materials:

  • Two identical card sets with the same Seussical™ animal names on each (i.e. in each deck, there will be one Horton card, one Mayzie card, etc.); the total number of cards should be equal to the number of students in your class. Please see Appendix B for a list of possible Seussical™ characters.

Directions:

  1. Divide the class into two groups.
  2. Ask the students in the first group to take a card from the first set of cards.
  3. Ask the students in the second group to take a card from the second card set.
  4. Have students keep the card they have chosen secret.
  5. Have students move around the room, exploring the movements of their chosen Seussical™ animal.
  6. Have students fi nd the other student(s) who are exhibiting the same animal characteristics.
  7. In these pairs or groups, have students explore and expand on their animals’ body language.
  8. Then, have students create a sound to accompany their movement that expresses their animal.

ACTIVITY #2.1: FIND THE HABITAT

There are many creatures, both real and fi ctitious, that are seen or mentioned in Seussical™.

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will identify and explain themes of geographic inquiry, including location/place, environment, interaction and movement. Students will then apply the creative process, using the elements and conventions of dance and drama to present their findings

Materials:

  • Chart Paper or Chalkboard
  • Markers or Chalk

Directions:

    1. Write the following two columns on a piece of chart paper or blackboard:
      Seussical™ Animals or Plants Seussical™ Habitats
      Cat House
      Ga-zat Forest
      Elephant Jungle
      Bird Desert of Dreze
      Kangaroo Mountain
      Monkey Nest
      Minnows Beach
      Whales Lake
      Fish Sea
      Night Owl McElligot’s Pool
      Bees River
      Dogs
      Turtle
      Elephant-bird
      Mouse
      Fox
      Clover
      Pillberry Bush
    2. From the list of habitats, have each student choose the best place for each animal or plant to dwell.
    3. Once each student has assigned a habitat to every plant and animal, discuss as a class what physical and behavioural characteristics the animals possess that led to their decisions.
    4. Have each student choose one of the habitats from the list. Based on their chosen locale, have them draw their own Dr. Seuss-inspired plant or animal.
    5. Have them explain how the characteristics they gave their plant or animal will help them flourish in their habitat.
    6. Have them explain how the characteristics they gave their plant or animal will challenge or hinder them in their habitat.
    7. Now that the students have a plant or animal in a habitat, have them move into small groups with other students of the same chosen habitat.
    8. In these groups, have students brainstorm what people could do to make that habitat better or
      worse for each creature.
    9. Have students discuss how that change would affect other creatures living in the same habitat.
    10. Have each group present their ideas to the class.

ACTIVITY #2.2: LIVING THINGS AND THEIR HABITATS

Materials:

      • Writing Utensils
      • Scrap Paper or Journals

Directions:

      • Working with the same created plants or animals as in the previous activity, have each student improvise as their chosen creation.
      • Have them consider the following:
        How they move around or exist in their habitat.
        How they get sustenance.
        Where exactly in the habitat they live.
      • Once each student has established themselves, encourage them to interact with the other creatures living in the same environment.
      • Have students write a reflective response to this exercise. The following questions may be used for inspiration:
        1. How did your animal or plant feel in this habitat? Strong? Comfortable? Fearful? Weak? Explain why.
        2. How did your animal or plant behave when interacting with others? Curiously? Aggressively? Timidly? Cooperatively? Explain why.
        3. Did your animal or plant fit into your chosen habitat the way you originally thought that it would? In what ways?
        4. What were the advantages of sharing this habitat with other plants and animals?
        5. What were the challenges of sharing your environment with other plants and animals?
        6. What elements of your habitat are necessary for your creature’s survival?
        7. What would happen to your plant or animal if these elements vanished? What would happen to your fellow plants or animals if these elements vanished?
        8. What is vital for these elements to remain in existence?

POST-SHOW CULMINATING ACTIVITY

LEARNING ABOUT AND RESPECTING ONE ANOTHER’S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Objective:
Through participation in this activity, students will identify and understand human rights, their importance and the ways in which they can be upheld. They will analyze the connection between rights and responsibilities and demonstrate an understanding of how characteristics such as kindness, cooperation, integrity, perseverance, and respect help to protect one another’s human rights.

Materials:

Directions:

      1. Study The Rights of the Child with your students.
      2. As a class, discuss the following:
        • What is the relationship between rights and responsibilities?
        • How are people kept accountable for their actions?
        • How can we ensure that we keep the promises we make?
        • Look at each right and brainstorm ways that it can be protected (i.e. Recess times at school help to ensure that “Every child has the right to play and rest.”)
      3. As a class, discuss how Seussical™ reinforces The Rights of the Child.

Extension: The Whos in your World

Our focus this season is “The Power of Change”. Seussical™ explores this theme, with particular attention to the value of working with others in order to aff ect change. Within our community, especially in a big city like Toronto, there are many people who we encounter everyday about whom we know very little. Sometimes, we wonder about these people we don’t know: What do they care about? What’s important to them? Where do they come from? Where are they going?

Directions:

  1. Have students identify someone in their school or home community that they don’t know.
  2. Encourage them to make a list of questions that they would like to ask this person, if they could (i.e.: What is important to you? Do you have a favourite animal? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?)
  3. Using the template (Appendix D), have students draw a picture of this person and write the questions they would like to ask them on the body of the fi gure. Encourage students to include specific characteristics, such as glasses, scarves, piercings, facial hair, etc.)
  4. Have students cut out their drawing and share their Who with the class.

We would love to learn about the Whos in your World! Please send us your drawings or bring them to the theatre. We will put your Whos on display at YPT!

REVIEWING A PLAY

JON KAPLAN’S INTRODUCTION TO STUDENT REVIEWERS

Theatre is, for me, an art form that tells me something about myself or gets me thinking about the world in which I live.

Whether going to the theatre as a reviewer or simply an audience member, I think that watching a play is an emotional experience and not just an intellectual one. I always let a show wash over me, letting it touch my feelings, and only later, after the show, do I try to analyze those feelings.

That’s when I start to think about some of the basic questions you ask when you’re writing a review – what did I see (story, characters, themes); how did I respond to what I saw; what parts of the production (script, performances, direction, design and possibly other elements) made me feel and think what I did; why was I supposed to respond in that fashion?

When you go to the theatre to review, take a few notes during a show if you feel comfortable doing so, but don’t spend your time writing the review during the show; you’ll miss what’s happening onstage.

Writing a review doesn’t mean providing a plot summary. That’s only part of the job; you have to discuss your reaction to what you saw and try to explore some of the reasons for that reaction.

I don’t believe that there’s any such thing as a totally objective piece of criticism. We are all individuals, bringing our own backgrounds, experiences and beliefs to a production. In some fashion, every one of us sitting in the theatre is a critic, no matter whether we’re writing a review or not; we all react to and from judgments about what we see on the stage.

When I go to a production, I always keep in mind that the people involved in putting it on have worked long and hard – weeks, months, sometimes years – getting it onto the stage. Even if I have problems with the result, it’s important to respect the efforts that went into the show.

Jon Kaplan is Senior Theatre Writer at NOW Magazine, where he’s worked for the past 35 years.

APPENDIX A

AN EXCERPT FROM “OH, THE THINKS YOU CAN THINK”

Click here to download the template.

APPENDIX B

LIST OF POSSIBLE SEUSSICAL™ CHARACTERS

The Cat in the Hat The Whos
Jojo Bird Girls
Horton the Elephant Fish
Gertrude McFuzz Vlad Vladikof
Mayzie La Bird Yertle the Turtle
Sour Kangaroo The Grinch
The Wickersham Brothers Circus Animals

APPENDIX C

THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

In 1989 the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights established the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This followed the groundbreaking 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child that was based on ten core principles. These are part of many countries’ individual Charter of Rights. However, in many countries of the world these rights are not enforced.

All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor.

Every child has the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay well, so that they can freely develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially.

Every child has the right to be alive. They have the right to a name, and this should be officially recognized by the government. Every child has the right to a nationality and an identity – an official record of who they are.

The government has a responsibility to make sure all children’s rights are protected, including the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services. The government must help protect children’s rights and create an environment where they can grow and reach their potential.

Every child has the right to special education and care if they have a disability, so that they can live a full life. Every child has the right to love and understanding. All children have the right to grow up in a spirit of peace, understanding, acceptance and friendship among peoples.

They have the right to a good quality education. They have the right to play and rest.

Every child has the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.

Every child has the right to protection from any kind of exploitation (being taken advantage of). No one is allowed to punish children in a cruel or harmful way. No one is allowed to kidnap or sell them.

Every child has the right to practice their own culture, language and religion – or any that they choose.

APPENDIX D

THE WHOS IN YOUR WORLD TEMPLATE

Click here to download the template.

SOURCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ahrens, L., Flaherty, S., and Idle, E. (1998). Seussical™. New York: Music Theatre International.

Ahrens, L. and Flaherty, S. (October 2005). There’s Another Think There! American Theatre, 22 (8).

A to Z Teacher Stuff. (2011). Dr. Seuss.

Fitzgerald, H., Howell, T., Pontisso, R. (Eds.) (2006). Paperback Oxford Canadian dictionary (2nd ed.). Toronto: Oxford University Press Canada.

Kathleen, K. (2004). The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss. New York: Random House.

Ministry of Education and Training. (2004). The Ontario Curriculum: Social Studies, Grades 1 to 6; History and Geography, Grades 7 and 8.

Ministry of Education and Training. (2009). The Ontario Curriculum: The Arts, Grades 1 to 8.

Nel, P. (14 August 2011). Dr. Seuss on the Web.

Random House and Dr. Seuss Enterprises. (2011) Seussville: The Official Seuss Website.

The Springfield Museums. (2004). Dr. Seuss National Memorial.

Toronto District School Board. Character Development in Action.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Child Friendly Language. (2011).

United Nations Cyberschoolbus. (2011). The Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

RESOURCES

Chronological list of select Dr. Seuss books:
Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940
McElligot’s Pool, 1947
Horton Hears A Who!, 1954
If I Ran The Circus, 1956
The Cat In The Hat, 1957
How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 1957
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, 1958
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, 1960
Green Eggs And Ham, 1960
The Sneeches and Other Stories, 1961
I Had Trouble In Getting To Solla Sollew, 1965
The Lorax, 1971
Did I Ever Tell you How Lucky you Are?, 1973
Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!, 1975
The Butter Battle Book, 1984
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, 1990

Amnesty International
With a focus on human rights education, Amnesty International provides free curriculum and teaching guides, as well as lesson plans. In particular, this website offers companion film guides to help students and teachers delve more deeply into the themes of a variety of films and to understand the practical implications of these stories.

Developing a Global Perspective for Educators
Organized by grade and subject area, this website offers a wide selection of lesson plans and teaching resources for teachers with an interest in incorporating global social justice issues into their classrooms.

National Geographic
National Geographic offers a variety of free curriculum and lesson plans, with a focus on habitats around the world, how they operate, and the interaction between human beings, other animals and the environment.

Oxfam
Free of charge, this organization provides curriculum resources and lesson plans for teachers with a focus on global citizenship. Though Oxfam is based in the United Kingdom, it is an international organization and most of the teaching resources it provides are applicable in the Canadian context.

Seussville
This website includes a large section for educators with a variety of free lesson plans and learning materials, as well as information and ideas for special events and initiatives to undertake with your students.