Oh, the Places You'll Go - How to Incorporate a Book into the Classroom

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Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss is by far one of my favorite books to use with students of all ages.  The message in the book is simple... in life, there will be obstacles you must overcome; sometimes life will be easy, but other times it might seem little tough.  You have to dig deep within yourself to keep going until you reach success.  Along the way, you may also experience some loneliness; keep pushing until you reach your goal.

I love how Dr. Seuss created the main character in this book to be the reader (you) of the book.  It really allows the reader to stop along the way and think about the words he/she is reading. I know every time I read this book, I read it with a new viewpoint.  What I find fascinating about this particular book is any person can relate to it; whether it is a young student who has yet to experience life ahead or an adult who has lived a full life. Everyone seems to get something from reading this book.

In a classroom, Oh, the Places You'll Go can be used in a variety of ways.
  1. Use the book as a read aloud. 
  2. Use the book as in literature circles.
  3. Use the book in a reading center with independent activities to complete. 
  4. Have a class set of books. Each student reads the book and dissects the meanings behind the author's phrases and word choices. 

Before Reading the Book:
  • Have students think of a place they would like to visit. Have each student draw a picture of a place they would like to visit. On a separate sheet of paper, have each student write a paragraph describing the place they would like to visit and why. Take the picture the students drew and create a picture quilt on a bulletin board for a visual.

After Reading the Book:
  • Have each student write a letter to his/her future self. In the letter, have the students describe how his/her dreams for the future. How does he/she see himself/herself twenty years from now? What type of occupation will he/she have? Where will he/she live?

  • In the book, the author refers to “moving mountains.” Ask the students to make a list of possible “mountains” they may have to move to achieve their future goals. 

  • You can also have students write a narrative paragraph or essay about anything that pertains to visiting a new place, an obstacle they may have overcome to get where they are going now, a personal goal for the future, etc. The topics are endless. I have a narrative writing prompt I would love to share with you, and the best part is it is FREE! 

On a personal note, I purchased this book for my daughter when she was born. We read this book to her all of the time.  When she began preschool, I purchased a new book. Each year I have her teachers write a note to her about how she was as a student, a funny story, or any other memories that were shared during the school year. I have kept this a secret from her, and when she is finished with school, I plan to give it to her as a present I know she will enjoy receiving. It serves as a gift full of many wonderful memories all preserved in one book. 

Head on over and grab a copy to keep in the classroom. You will see just how many ways you can incorporate this fantastic book into your classroom!

Happy Teaching!

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