ALEX Learning Activity

Seeing Satire in Seuss

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: LaSheree Sanford-Davis
System:Birmingham City
School:Ramsay High School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2218
Seeing Satire in Seuss
Digital Tool/Resource:
Dr. Seuss' The Sneetches/Full Version YouTube
Web Address – URL:

This learning activity uses a video of Dr. Seuss' satirical story of segregation and discrimination. The overall message is presented in the form of a cartoon that magnifies the ideas of identity and differences.  This activity requires students to analyze a case in which the author uses both directly stated and implied ideas to make a point. 

This activity was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
6 ) Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). [RL.11-12.6]

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 11
United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
10 ) Describe the impact of World War II on the lives of American citizens, including wartime economic measures, population shifts, growth in the middle class, growth of industrialization, advancements in science and technology, increased wealth in the African-American community, racial and ethnic tensions, Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (G. I. Bill of Rights), and desegregation of the military. [A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.g., A.1.i., A.1.k.]

•  Describing Alabama's participation in World War II, including the role of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Aliceville Prisoner of War (POW) camp, growth of the Port of Mobile, production of Birmingham steel, and the establishment of military bases (Alabama)

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.11.10- Recognize major changes in the lives of Americans during World War II and how Alabama participated in the war.
SS.AAS.11.10a - Identify Women's participation in World War II including industry and volunteerism.
SS.AAS.11.10b - Identify the role of African Americans in World War II including the Tuskegee Airmen.

Learning Objectives:

The student will be able to distinguish between what an author directly states in non-print text and what is meant or implied.

The student will be able to describe racial and ethnic tensions caused by the impact of World War II on the lives of American citizens.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

The student will be able to identify and analyze the use of satire in non-print text. 

  • Introduce and play the video but do not explain the use of satire in the video.
  • After the video, pass out the Viewer Reflection Form.
  • Have the students complete the form individually.
  • Tell students to turn their form over to reveal the color sticker on the back.
  • Allow students to move to match color groups and discuss their responses to the questions.
  • Time the students for a 10-minute session and then allow them to share their responses.
  • Introduce/Review the term satire and lead students in a discussion of how the video seeks to bring about a change in society. 
  • Discuss with students one change in society was the impact of World War II and how it brought about ethnic and racial tensions in America.
Assessment Strategies:

Assessment for this activity includes monitoring student discussions.

Have students write an exit slip or a note card response to the questions:

  • What is directly stated and what is implied?
  • How can an author use literature to bring about a change?  

Advanced Preparation:

Teachers will need to make a copy (one per student) of the Viewer Reflection Form and put stickers or markings on the back of each sheet in order to create groups for the small group instructions.

  • The activity can be completed using whole group instruction, pairs, or small groups.
  • Marking for the Viewer Reflection Form can be letters, numbers, colors, etc. 
Variation Tips (optional):

  • The lesson can be completed with students in whole group, pairs or any other variation.
  • A text or audio version of the text can also be used to complete this activity.
Notes or Recommendations (optional):

The activity can be used as an introduction to more complex text like "A Modest Proposal" or a non-fiction text.  This activity can also be used as a review lesson.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: Analysis, discrimination, Irony, racial tension, Sarcasm, Satire, Understatement, World War II