Summer Learning with The Lorax

Weekly Trip to the Library: The Lorax by Dr. Suess

Over 40-years ago Dr. Seuss published The Lorax . In his search to find a real Truffula Tree a boy must find the Lorax who is a forest guardian who speaks for the trees and protects the forest. The Lorax tries to save the environment and blames big business and greed for destruction of our environment.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax the movie is a 3D adaptation of the classic tale by Dr. Seuss of a forest guardian. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real tree, in a world without trees. The film has colorful animation, great music, and pulls at your heart-strings. The characters are played by Taylor Swift, Zac Efron, Betty White, Danny DeVito, Jenny Slate, and Ed Helms. Dr. Seuss’ message of “unless” we do something to change our circumstances now is as important today as it was more than 40-years ago.

The following activities will teach the kids about the environment, recycling, and includes an arts and crafts activity and a healthy snack to make after reading The Lorax by Dr. Suess.

Activity One: Litter Walk

Have the children design their own litter bags and take a walk in the neighborhood. Caution children not to pick up anything sharp like nails or glass or any food. Consider wearing rubber gloves as well. During the walk allow kids to put litter in their bags. Once home determine what items can be recycled. Sort the recyclables into groups of plastic, paper, and metals.

Activity Two: Edible Truffula Tree Snacks

You Will Need:

Paper Plates
Peanut Butter
Celery Sticks
Tangerines
Assorted Fruits such as Kiwi, Papaya, Pineapple, and Grapes

What to Do:

1. Place approximately 2-Tablespoons of peanut butter on a paper plate.
2. Give the children a celery stick to place in the peanut better so the celery stick stands up.
3. Give the kids a tangerine cut in a zig zag pattern to place on top of the celery stick.
4. Serve your charges bite-sized pieces of assorted fruit and pretend they fruits come from the Truffula tree.

Activity Three: Pencil Truffula Tree
By Misadventures of a Librarian
Using a small styrofoam ball, squares of tissue paper, and pencils make these easy Truffula Trees.

What You Need:

Unsharpended Pencils
Small Styrofoam Balls
Tissue paper (any color) cut into squares. Mine are about 1 1/2″ square (they are not cut perfectly)
Glue sticks (liquid glue was too runny and took to long to dry)
Scissors

What to Do:

1. Use the scissors to punch a hole into the Styrofoam ball, just enough to be able to work the pencil in.
2. Stick the pencil into the hole just made eraser end first
3. Using the glue stick apply glue on the ball near the pencil base
4. Take squares of tissue paper and scrunch them
5. Place scrunched tissue paper to the ball covered in glue

Activity Four: Write to the Lorax 

Have a discussion about how the plants and animals in the story were negatively affected by the pollutants caused by the Once-ler’s factory. Have the children pretend they are the Lorax and help them write a letter to the Once-ler. Discuss how the smogulous smoke produced by the THNEEDS factory made the Lorax cough, whiff, sneeze, snuff, snargle, and croak. Talk about air pollutions produced by cars and other machinery with gas burning engines, as well as emissions produced by furnaces, fireplaces, and factories.

Activity Five: How Dirty is the Air We Breathe?

Here is a science experiment to do with kids at fourth grade level and up from Reach Out Michigan.

Explain to the kids that as they look outside, they see a clear blue sky. Ask them where is the pollution? Explain that most major air pollutants are also invisible, although large amounts of them concentrated in areas such as cities can be seen as smog you are going to make a simple tester for air pollution so we can see the pollution.

You Will Need:

Plastic Wrap Squares (about 5-inch by 5-inch squares)
Petroleum Jelly
Masking Tape
Blocks of Wood
White Paper

What to Do:

1. Coat the plastic squares with a thin, even coat of petroleum jelly. With masking tape, fasten the squares, jelly side up, to the wooden blocks.
2. Place the blocks outdoors in different areas of the kids’ back yard. Put them on a post, fence, wall, and window sill. Leave it for 24-hours. Remove the plastic squares from the blocks. Lay each square on a separate piece of white paper.
3. Let the kids examine the pollution which was collected on the petroleum jelly. Did they collect any dirt particles? Did they collect any pollen? In what places does the air seem to be the dirtiest?

Explain that they found dirt where we saw nothing and that we must have air to live. We must do everything we can to clean the air we have and keep our future air clean.

You can purchase your own copies of the book or movie by clicking the images or links below:

The Lorax (Classic Seuss)

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

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