ALEX Lesson Plan


Dr. Seuss on the Loose: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Trudy Nye
System: Huntsville City
School: McDonnell Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6989


Dr. Seuss on the Loose: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street


In Dr. Seuss’ first published children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Marco, inspired by the passing of a horse and wagon, imagines a series of increasingly incredible sights on his way home from school. This story provides a springboard for discussing the concepts of honesty, imagination, and creativity and for exploring the difference between dishonesty and creativity. Students will learn to recognize when it is appropriate to weave an elaborate tale and when it is not.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
CE (K-12)
4. Honesty
CE (K-12)
10. Self-control
CE (K-12)
22. Creativity
ELA2015 (3)
1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. [RL.3.1]
ELA2015 (3)
2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. [RL.3.2]
ELA2015 (3)
24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.3.3]
a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.3.3a]
b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations. [W.3.3b]
c. Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order. [W.3.3c]
d. Provide a sense of closure. [W.3.3d]
ELA2015 (3)
38. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.3.2]
a. Capitalize appropriate words in titles. [L.3.2a]
b. Use commas in addresses. [L.3.2b]
c. Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue. [L.3.2c]
d. Form and use possessives. [L.3.2d]
e. Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness). [L.3.2e]
f. Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words. [L.3.2f]
g. Write legibily in cursive. (Alabama)
h. Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings. [L.3.2g]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will identify Marco's dilemma and relate it to their own experience.
Students will discuss the concepts of honesty, creativity, and imagination.
Students will explain why they think Marco made the decision he did.
Students will learn to recognize when it is appropriate to weave an elaborate tale and when it is not.
Students will create two versions of a paragraph describing something they saw on the way to or from school: one factual and one fanciful.
Students will edit their writing, correcting errors in spelling and grammar.
Students will use a rubric to self-assess their written product.
Students will use computers and multimedia software to create a presentation of the final drafts of their factual and fanciful descriptive paragraphs.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will explain that using imagination is important and valuable, and why it is essential to make a clear distinction between being dishonest and being creative.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss, Discussion Questions (PowerPoint Attachment), Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Aesop(Extension; Enrichment Challenge), Pinocchio by C. Collodi (Extension; Enrichment Challenge), Liar, Liar video with Jim Carrey (Enrichment Challenge)

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer(s), printer, word processing software, presentation software, such as PowerPoint (attachments were created in Windows XP: PowerPoint animations may not function as programmed in other Windows applications)


Students need to understand the basics of Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word to complete assignments.

1.)Ask students to use productive thinking to list many, varied, and unusual things they MIGHT see on the way to or from school.

2.)Read Dr. Seuss' And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

3.)Discuss the story, using probing questions from the Discussion Questions PowerPoint presentation.
The Discussion Questions presentation is set up to enable the teacher to use it at his/her own pace; mouse click to bring up each element of each page.

4.)Acquaint the students with Dragnet's Sergeant Joe Friday's "Just the facts, ma'am" style. Discuss the following with the students:
Why is dealing with just the facts important sometimes?
When is this essential?

5.)Ask students to think of something they actually saw on the way to or from school recently. Have them write descriptive paragraphs in Joe Friday's just-the-facts style.

6.)Read the passage from Cervantes' Don Quixote where Don Quixote tilts at windmills because he imagines they are giants. (It may be best to summarize the passage.)
Discuss why it is important to be open to imagination and possibilities.
Don Quixote tilting-at-windmills passage.

7.)Using the same observation, ask students to write another paragraph from Don Quixote's they-might-be-giants point of view. Remind them of the way Marco built up his simple observation in his imagination.
Encourage students to use figurative language in their descriptions.

8.)Have students self-monitor their writing using a rubric. Work with students to identify and correct errors in spelling and grammar.

9.)When final drafts of paragraphs have been approved, let the students prepare PowerPoint slides presenting their contrasting descriptions.
(Attached Descriptive Paragraphs PowerPoint presentation can be used as a template.)

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

Teacher will monitor the discussion, probing for understanding with questions from the Discussion Questions PowerPoint presentation. Students will use a basic writing rubric to self-assess their descriptive paragraphs. Teacher will use a basic writing rubric to assess descriptive paragraphs. Teacher and students will assess PowerPoint presentations with PowerPoint Rubric. Teacher will assess student newsletter with Newsletter Scoring Guide.


Students will read The Boy Who Cried Wolf and compare and contrast the fable with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Find the text of the fable at Story Library. Students will compare the story of Pinocchio to the two stories above. See attached Sample Student Enrichment Activity PowerPoint presentation. Sample Student Enrichment Activity PowerPoint presentation includes a picture of the Mulberry Street sign from Springfield, Massachusetts where Dr. Seuss grew up. The picture is included with permission from Paula White. Go to her website at In Search Of Seuss .



Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.