Today is the 112th birthday of one of my favorite poets, Dr. Seuss! (And that seems like reason enough to take a break from The Silmarillion Recaps. Tolkien would understand, right?)
Over the five years that I’ve taught middle school English, Dr. Seuss’ works has been an integral part of introducing basic poetic elements like rhythm, rhyme, and the importance of a line’s length. The first time 7th graders watch me whip out an old copy of Green Eggs and Ham, there are usually sighs and confused looks. But after I read it as fast as I possibly can, they get it. Sometimes they even want to hear it again, just for fun. By 8th grade, they know what to expect and look forward to it.
Since French is now part of my teaching repertoire, I also have two Dr. Seuss staples in French as well. The most amazing part is that, while it’s not completely word for word (obviously), it still conveys the same message and has similar line length and rhyming patterns. That takes some serious talent!
The cat napping after reading some Dr. Seuss en français.
The most fun part, though? Some of those French students are my old 7th and 8th graders, so the day they saw Les œufs verts au jambon, they couldn’t wait for another round of Dr. Seuss’ poetry.
Which Dr. Seuss book is your favorite?