Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Lorax and Analyzing Images

We are taking a pause in our study of Lewis and Clark to get ready for Read Across America Day!  In the upper grades, we celebrate by sending our students to read to the littler kids.  They will practice all week to read the books they've chosen fluently.  It's so cute!

We started sharing The Lorax by Dr.Seuss today.  We actually only read a very small part of the text this morning because we focused on analyzing imagesI made this chart for recording their observations about what they saw on the cover and what they saw on the Street of the Lifted Lorax.  Those weird things around "The Lorax" are supposed to be truffula trees.  LOL!  I tried!

This was a great opportunity to get the students to think from the perspective of the author and illustrator and really dig deep into how images impact a text (Hello, Common Core!).  And may I confess that while prepping for this lesson, it was the first time I really REALLY spent time looking at the pictures. For instance, I never really noticed the connection between the cover and the second page "if you look deep enough you can still see, today, where the Lorax once stood just as long as it could." 

Some key questions:
* What feeling do you get by looking at the cover?
* How does the Street of the Lifted Lorax compare to the cover image?
* What do you think the author wants you to look at on this page?
* How does the image relate to the words on the page? {This was a differentiated question to allow my newest English speakers the chance to participate.}
* Who is telling this story so far? How can you tell?  {The narration is in third person until the Once-Ler begins telling his tale.}

We only read the first few pages! I don't usually stop so frequently for questioning, but I thought it was important to discuss each new image.
This is our chart from the end of our (mini) read aloud.  I'm really happy with the beginning of our analysis!  I was able to introduce my kids to the words dreary and desolate and the kids wrote some great responses about the mood along the Street of the Lifted Lorax.  By the end of the week, we will add onto our chart by analyzing images of the Once-Ler's arrival and images of the Once-Ler's factory.

Of course, I don't think you can read this book without discussing the impact of the Once-Ler's actions on the environment and questioning whether he has a right to "biggering and biggering" his company, so we will do a bit of on demand writing to tackle these topics.  These conversations will lead us to understanding Dr.Seuss's point of view, something my kids are still struggling to identify.

I'm also planning to work with a small group to complete a cause and effect organizer that I made....click below to grab your own copy :-)

So tell me: what do you have planned for Read Across America Week? 


  1. I really like that idea of doing cause and effect using the Lorax...I will have to do that!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. This is one of my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss books. I love your graphic organizer for it!

    I'd like to send you may iPoke game since you answered my question correctly, but I can't find your email. Shoot me an email and I'll reply with the game!



    Fun in Room 4B


  3. I truly wish that I had a classroom so I could celebrate Read Across America! Last year during my internship, we had a day where we just read ALL. DAY. LONG. The kiddos had a blast being read to, reading themselves, and reading to a partner. Glad you're participating in Teaching & Tapas' giveaway, glad to have found you!

    Miss V's Busy Bees