Last Friday, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday. He made an amazing contribution to children’s literature. Among his many treasured titles, Green Eggs and Ham allows for practice of many important skills. Parents can choose to target one or two of the topics listed below at a time. You can also address other topics by simply rereading the story. Repetitive reads of a children’s book may seem boring, but they are comforting to kiddos! Below are some areas to focus on while sharing this classic with your child.
During any read aloud, ask questions before, during, and after reading. Not only does this allow you to assess your child’s understanding of the story, but also it provides practice responding to questions, which is an important academic skill.
Rhyming is a key skill that positively impacts decoding abilities when practiced. Learning words with the same endings and sounds help when students encounter unfamiliar words. For example, if I can read the word box, I can read the word fox.
In the story, the main character refuses to try green eggs and ham throughout the entire book. In the end, he tastes the new food and actually likes it! So he discovers he’s been carrying on about not liking the dish for no reason. This is a great example to bring up if you have a picky eater at home. Many times children particularly don’t like green foods, such as veggies. This book provides an opportunity to start a dialogue on the topic. If you can convince your kiddo to try something new, provide praise for experimenting, even if they decide they do not like the new food.
Dr. Seuss books are chocked full of sight words. Since the text is repetitive, it allows for multiple exposures to each target word. You can ask your child to find the words or take turns reading some of the repetitive portions of the text for practice.
Throughout the book, Sam harasses the main character to try green eggs and ham. Take a few moments to reflect on Sam's behavior. He is repeatedly asked for space. Discuss real life peer play scenarios vs. fictional events. If someone keeps telling us “no” and/or is becoming angry, we need to walk away and give them the space they are requesting. You can also observe the signs of his escalating feelings throughout the book (i.e. angry face, the use of capital letters and exclamation points to show yelling and loud tones).