"Oh, The Places You'll Go!" While Learning Along the Way - 2 Activities
By Patricia Gable
Let's run to the swings, skip to the tree and hop to the jungle gym! Dr. Seuss inspires preschoolers to move and make good choices. Is cleaning your room a good or bad choice? What about talking to a stranger? These thoughts can be discussed using these activities.
Ready to Read
Dr. Seuss does it again by writing a book that can inspire young and old alike. As always, it is filled with amusing verse and illustrations but the message is not silly or sugarcoated. It reminds readers that each of us has the power of choice in our life journey: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Our journey may not always be smooth. You may face challenges, loneliness, and waiting, but it can get better.
Every age level can take something different from this book. So, what should the focus of this book be for the students in your preschool classroom? Use it for motivation! Use it for movement! Use it for making good choices! Read Oh, The Places You'll Go! and let Dr. Seuss help you teach these concepts.
File cards (only two colors)
Marker or pen
On one group of colored cards, write a movement on each one: jump, walk, hop, run, skip, baby steps, walk backwards, bear crawl, etc.
On the other colored cards write locations. This depends on where you will be doing this activity. Will it be in the classroom, the playground, or gym? For example, if you will be on the playground, you may write words like jungle gym, slide, swing, door, wall, tree, fence and so on.
Read the book.
Next, say to your students, “Now we are going to go places! Just like the character in the book traveled in different ways, we are going to move in different ways too."
Go to the playground, gym, or a specific area of the classroom. (Wherever you decided to do this activity)
Ask someone to choose one card from each color pile, read the card aloud, count to three ,and instruct the children to do what the cards say. For example, you may have the cards “hop" and “slide". On the count of three, students should hop to the slide. Then choose two more cards, etc.
First, read the book.
Discuss what ideas the children got from the book. Emphasize that they can make choices as they go through life. Not everything will go well all the time. Encourage them to just keep trying. You may want to talk about what they want to be when they are older.
Objective: Making Good Choices
Large piece of paper (like bulletin board/door paper)
A game die (a big foam one is great if you have one)
Make a game board. It can be as simple as drawing a ladder or a curved double line with spaces.
Write good choices and bad choices—one on each file card.
Good: helping mom, helping dad, helping your friend, helping a sister or brother, cleaning up your toys, using your seat belt or car seat, brushing your teeth, cleaning your room, etc.
Bad: breaking something on purpose, hitting your brother or sister, talking to a stranger, throwing a candy wrapper on the ground, crying for something you want in the store, messing up your room, being loud at the library, playing in the street, taking medicine without an adult’s permission, coloring on the wall, etc.
Read and discuss the meaning of the third page in the book:
“You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, ‘I don’t choose to go there’. "
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
You’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street."
Divide the students into two teams. Read a card. Each team takes turns saying whether it is a good choice or a bad choice. If correct, roll the die and move forward on the board. Play until a team gets to the finish place on the board.
Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss will get your students moving, making good choices, and discussing their life ahead. This is a book in which preschoolers and college graduates can find a lesson. Leave it to Dr. Seuss!