Horton Hatches the Egg
by Dr. Seuss, Randon House, 1968
Activities 1998 Nancy Polette

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Research Says That People Learn Best:
I. With and from others (learning is SOCIAL).
A. Topic Talking: To develop oral language facility students talk to partners from their own experience with a topic. Over a period of time, increase the amount of time and the size of the group.
Example: Three topics to introduce Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss: elephants, a circus, being responsible.
B. Before sharing the story, give students these open ended sentences. Children can choose one to complete orally or in writing. Upper primary students can be asked to finish the sentence and write two more sentences on the topic.
1. Going to a circus would be.......
2. Keeping a promise is important because......
3. When winter comes the animals in the woods.....
4. To be lazy means.......... ____________
III. When we stress MEANING
Summary: Mazie was a lazy bird who did not like sitting on eggs. It was boring and she wanted to take off and see the world, so she asked Horton, the elephant to sit on the egg while she took a vacation. Horton sits through the fall, through the icy cold of winter and into the spring. Then hunters capture the elephant and take him to a circus ... tree, egg and all. Poor Horton, he doesn't like being a captive, but being "faithful 100%", he will not leave the egg. Then, just as the egg is about to hatch, Mazie returns and wants to claim it.
IV. When the learner is ACTIVELY involved.
Have a debate with half the class giving reasons why Mazie should get the egg and the other half giving reasons why Horton should get the egg.
The student produces a response to literature that is:
Interpretative: Why do you think Horton stayed on the nest?
Analytic: How is this story like the story of Beauty and the Beast?
Evaluative: What might be a better title for this story?
Reflective: What other book character needs to read this story?
The student extends ideas and makes connections to related topics. By using the writing patterns that follow, the student can compare any two characters in any stories. He or she can extend the second pattern to show change in non living as well as living things.
Compare/Contrast Poem
If I had the faithfulness of Horton
I would sit on an egg for a year
And I'd always keep my promises
no matter how difficult the task,
But I wouldn't fly away and take a vacation when there's work to be done
For Mazie the lazy bird does that

Writing Pattern: Primary Grades
Read: An Egg Is An Egg by Nicki Weiss, (Putnam, 1990)
A ____________________ is a _____________________until it ________________________________________and then it ____________________________________