Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Peacemaker: Theodor Seuss Geisel

During the month of March we celebrate the great late Dr. Seuss.  His stories and pictures are just a part of what makes him one of the Peacemakers we study.  Dr. Seuss, Theodor Geisel, shared with children what he believed were lessons everyone should learn early.  Through his stories he educated his young audience: The Lorax (1971), about environmentalism and anti-consumerism; "The Sneetches" (1961), about racial equality; The Butter Battle Book (1984), about the arms race; Yertle the Turtle (1958), about Hitler and anti-authoritarianism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), criticizing the materialism and consumerism of the Christmas season; and Horton Hears a Who! (1950), about anti-isolationism and internationalism.

During the month of March we vote on our favorite Dr. Seuss books and characters.  We play games that help illustrate the messages he brought forth to young audiences. We ask the children to share what they have learned from Dr. Seuss and what they already know about their emotions with each other. We believe that is it through the sharing of who we are as individuals, that we grow as a classroom community. We as teachers nurture the children to act cooperatively and encourage them to support one another and to express their delight in each other’s accomplishments. We honor each other’s voices and messages given and promote making choices that will benefit the group as a whole.
Each morning, we gather at circle and greet each other with a song. The circle itself is a wonderful symbol of community. It has no beginning or end, no front row or back row. Each sitting space is equal in rank, indicating that each person in the circle is equally important. It is our hope that the children look forward to gathering together, sharing their stories and thoughts and to learning along side one another. It is our goal to establish a loving, safe environment where our children can grow and develop, not only a love for learning, but love for one another and respect for their valuable place in the amazing cosmos.

Dr. Seuss and his books help us to do this. Besides, he's a ton of fun!  Hey, that rhymes, what do you know? Happy Dr. Seuss month!   

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