Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Green Eggs and Ham” is a wonderful book for beginning readers. There are just 50 different words in the entire book, of which many are either sight words or rhyming pairs. The fact that there is a lot of repetition in the story also helps out the beginning reader.
The story is about Sam-I-Am trying to get an unnamed character to try some “green eggs and ham”. The unnamed character refuses to eat it and claims that he does not like it. Sam-I-Am is incredibly persistent and eventually convinces him to at least try it. The story ends with the unnamed character trying the dish, finding out that he indeed does like green eggs and ham, and finally thanking Sam-I-Am for encouraging him to try it.
The reason why I only gave this story 4 stars is based on the moral of the story. On one hand, I think that it is important for people to have the courage to try new things. On the other hand, I’m not much of a fan of peer pressure. When reading this story to young students, I try to focus on simple fact of trying new food, such as brussels sprouts (which I happen to love). Hopefully, students won’t automatically focus on the peer pressure aspect. Just imagine if “green eggs and ham” was a code for a type of drug and then re-read the story. Yikes! However, if you just focus on the surface meaning and the fact that it is a great book for beginning readers to read on their own, then this book is fantastic addition to a classroom library.
On a personal note, I LOVE the edition I have of this book! It’s actually a very LARGE edition that is about 1 and ½ feet tall and spiral bound. There is no barcode because it is a promotional copy that I got from working in a bookstore. On the back cover, there is even a section for “in-store activities”. I LOVE it!!
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Ok.. So even though I haven’t seen the inside of my classroom, I’ve still be dreaming of things to put up. A few days ago, I actually sketched some things out. Sorry about the awful handwriting, but this was just a quick sketch of what was in my head around midnight.
The title is “Oh, The Places We’ll Go In Kindergarten!” It will have a sky background. The large hot air balloon will be 3D with some sort of balled up paper behind it to give it depth and I’ll draw myself in the balloon basket. The rest of the board will be left deliberately empty because on the first day, I would have each student color in their own balloon and draw themselves in the basket and add their balloons to the board.
That’s a close up of the explanation of the balloons the students will complete.
I also thought about the behavior chart I could do for the students. This idea is a take on one that I did during my student teaching that involved colorful scales on a fish for tracking behavior. This idea is very “Cat in the Hat”.
Keep in mind I sketched it as if I had all of my students from both classes on a single bulletin board. Now that I think about it, if I were to do something like this, I’d try to make a double sided display so that each side could have a single class and seem less chaotic. I also envisioned taking a photo of each student during the first day of class and putting their own face under the hat to make it more personalized.
This is an explanation of how the behavior chart worked. Each day, each student starts out with 3 red stripes on their hat. If they misbehave, they get a stripe removed. If they misbehave again, another strip taken away. If they misbehave a third time, the last strip taken away. Students always have the chance to earn back any stripes taken away during the day. If a student has been particularly good, they are given a special bow tie for the day. However, I haven’t thought about specific rewards and consequences regarding what state their cat in the hat is at the end of the day.
So this is the type of stuff that has been going through my head lately… When I last saw my principal, she said that the school’s theme for the year will be “Cooking Up A Great School” since it goes with her “our school is like a soup” theory. I don’t know if we’ll have to continue that theme within our own classrooms or not. If we do, I’m going to have to rethink everything. Since I have a bunch of Dr. Seuss stuff already, I’ll probably try to just incorporate “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Cooking With the Cat” but we’ll see.
Today’s Silver Lining: No matter what theme, I’m still super excited to get started designing my very own first classroom! Is it August 16th yet?!?