Books can be a huge source of inspiration for young learners. I remember some of my favorite books growing up that taught me about life, relationships, and pursuing my dreams. "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is about adventure, courage, exploration, and the journey of life. Dr. Seuss approaches these sometimes daunting concerns about growing up with whimsy and imagination. There are many useful lessons that can be adapted and used in the classroom to inspire kids to step forward into their futures with excitement and ambition. Here are 15 of our most outlandish and empowering activities to get your students dreaming big!
1. Happy People Go Happy Places
This Dr. Seuss-inspired incentive activity rewards students for being positive and appreciative. The "happy puffs" are pom poms placed in the "happy jar" when students handle a challenging situation with kindness and understanding (no complaining). Once the jar is full the class gets a reward, maybe an educational outing or a classroom party.
Learn more: ObSEUSSed
2. Dr. Seuss Fun Chair
Get an old chair from your school and transform it into a chair of inspiration! You can print out images from Dr. Seuss's books, or have students paint/glue images from their favorite books or places. This chair is a unique and special addition to any classroom library.
Learn more: Teach Junkie
3. Mini Hot Air Balloon Crafts
This fun and creative craft activity are a bit messy, but worth it for the adorable results! Blow up some balloons (not too big), paint them white, and cover them with paper mache so they are sturdy. Let them dry outside then decorate them with colorful stripes so they look like the hot air balloons from the book.
Learn more: Buggie & Jellybean
4. Student Goals Art Project
This student activity encourages your class to imagine the possibilities of their bright futures. Give each student paper to cut out and build their own hot air balloon, then ask them to write their aspirations on the basket and decorate the classroom with them.
Learn more: Teach Junkie
5. Colorful Cupcakes
This cupcake recipe is perfect for all ages, because who doesn't love funfetti cake?? What makes these special is the colorful frosting circles that mimic the colors and spirals from the book.
Learn more: Surviving a Teacher's Salary
6. Word Searches and Crosswords
This website has a differentiated activity packet you can download and bring for your kids to complete once you've read and discussed the book as a class. The activities vary in focus from vocabulary and concepts to grammar and critical thinking.
Learn more: ABC Teach
7. Goals and Aspirations Poster
Have your students help create a motivational poster for the classroom. Give each student a piece of colored paper to write one goal they want to achieve on and make a craft signpost. This thematic activity will show just how varied everyone's paths are and that it is okay to think outside the box!
Learn more: Awesome Decorations
8. Button Balloons
This drop-in activity is simple and a perfect homage to this popular book. Find some buttons at a craft store and let your students pick out their favorites to make their little hot air balloons. You can make this more goal-oriented for older students by having them write their potential college names below each balloon for inspiration.
Learn more: A Handful of Buttons
9. Pretzel Time!
Here's something for your students to munch on as they contemplate their life paths. These colorful pretzel wands are delicious and super easy to make and bring to class. Just dip in white chocolate then decorate with rainbow-colored stripes for a yummy treat!
Learn more: Fab Everyday
10. The Possibilities Are Endless Stripes
Give your students strips of different colored paper and have them write one possibility for their future on each strip. These can be long-term and short-term goals. Then have them glue the strips into a 3D balloon shape on their paper so they can see and show all the paths they can take for a bright future.
Learn more: Cheryl Pennington
11. DIY Dr. Seuss Postcards
Ask your students to pick one place they would like to go. Give them some thick paper and help them cut it to postcard size. They will then take it home and decorate it based on the place it is supposed to be sent from. Have them write a note on the card pretending to be in their dream destination and share their thoughts and emotions about making it there.
Learn more: Hello, This is Jeff
12. Who, What, Where Worksheet
This nonfiction book by Dr. Seuss is not just about the places you'll go to, but who you will meet when you get there, what you will learn, and who you will grow to become. Expand your students' ideas and perceptions of the book by having them fill out this sheet and share it with the class.
Learn more: Preschoolers and Sunshine
13. Seuss-Themed Time Capsule
A class time capsule is a great activity to get your kids thinking about their futures in a tangible and short-term way. These work best when completed in the first year at a school, then opened before graduation. Have them fill out where they plan to go once they graduate, and why.
Learn more: Inner Child Fun
14. Poem Practice
Use Dr. Seuss as inspiration for your little poets to find their writer's voice. Read your students some examples and teach them about rhyming and poetic flow, then ask them to write their own poem about overcoming challenges and pursuing their dreams.
Learn more: Quotes Gram
15. Rock Painting
This is an easy and creative craft that gets your kids outside and exploring right away! Leave the classroom and find some medium-sized rocks perfect for painting. Then have your students paint their rock with whatever images inspire them to go out and achieve their goals!
Learn more: Pinterest