Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss, is a delightful story that children of all ages enjoy! This entertaining book of rhyme does more than teach children to read. It teaches about selfishness, faithfulness and the true meaning of a promise. There are many activities that you can do to enhance this excellent Dr. Seuss book.
Mayzie bird is tired of sitting on her egg so she convinces Horton that, in spite of his enormous size, he would be able to sit on her nest and watch over her egg for her. Then she flies off to Palm Springs where she decides that she enjoys her freedom so much she will never return to her nest. At the end of the story, when she sees the egg hatching, she insists the egg belongs to her.
Give each child a paddle made from craft sticks and tag board. On one side, write selfish. On the second side, write thoughtful. Make a stack of cards – 3×5 cards work great. Write down different actions to be read to the children. Include scenes that involve selfish acts as well as thoughtful acts. Write them, one at a time, to your children. Have them show the side of the paddle that they think is accurate – selfish or thoughtful. Sometimes, selfishness happens because we don’t think ahead. Teach them how to consider the thoughts behind certain actions.
Horton faces uncomfortable situations. Sometimes, as the case with the hunters, he is in danger. Still, he doesn’t waver from his word. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. He remains faithful one-hundred percent of the time. This is an excellent tool for teaching students about promise-keeping. The discussion can also be lead to consider commitments, making only those we can keep at all costs. Look for modern evidence of people remaining faithful to a cause in spite of persecution or discomfort.
Horton Hatches the Egg is an excellent introduction to little and big. Make construction paper cutouts for the children of a tiny egg and a large elephant. Compare the size. Find other things in the room that can be compared – like the teacher’s desk chair and the student’s little chairs. Make a list on the board. Give students a piece of paper with a line drawn down the middle. Have students draw small objects on one side and large objects on the other side.
Horton can also be used to teach the comparison of light and heavy. Discuss how elephants weigh tons and eggs weigh ounces. Let students play with scales, testing the weight of different items. You could even bring in a scale and let them weigh themselves if they would like to but don’t force them to be weighed in front of other students.
Horton Hatches the Egg is another masterpiece in the world of rhyme. Use the delightful lines to teach students, young and old, about rhyming words. Have students create a poem of their own.
A mini-circus unit could be created to go along with the book. Create a bulletin board and let students create different components of the circus. Be sure to include the tree complete with Horton and the egg.
Depending on the ages of your students and how deep you want to go, you could include a discussion about hunters that capture wild animals in the forests to sell to circuses and other groups. IS it good or bad for the animals? How does it affect conservation of wildlife or endangered animals? There are many ways you could take the conversation if your students are able to understand the concepts.
Horton Hatches the Egg is a versatile book. Activities that enhance it allow children to not just hear, but experience the story!