Being one of the lesser known and read Dr. Seuss books, this Dr. Seuss Star Bellied Sneetches book is a fantastic and fun story your students will enjoy!
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Dr. Seuss Star Bellied Sneetches
The Sneetches is not only entertaining, as many of the Dr. Seuss books are. But, it also teaches some very important lessons!
In the book there are two types of Sneetches, ones that are plain, and ones that have stars on their bellies. The star bellied sneetches think they are better than the plain sneetches and exclude them by not playing with them.
Then, Mr. McBean comes to town with a seemingly easy solution. He offers the plain bellied sneetches to pay a small fee to have stars stamped on their bellies.
However, the star bellied sneetches begin to complain because they had the stars on their bellies first and still think they are the best and the plain sneetches are the worst. Again, Mr. McBean has another solution. He is able to convince all of the sneetches to have their stars washed off their bellies with a special machine, for an even larger fee (a great lesson about how business work, for a different time and older students!).
Then, Mr. McBean leaves town with a lot of money, never really solving anything at all. He believes the sneetches will never change and will continue to exclude one another, while the sneetches learn a very important lesson.
“But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars
And whether they had on, or not, upon thars.”
This sounds very similar to the lesson the Grinch learns in the story The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, right?!
THE LESSON IN THE STORY
There are two lessons that can be learned from this story:
- People are all different. We look different, act different, and like different things. Accept people for who they are, even though they may be different.
- Don’t let other people tell you that you need to change “you” (you need to make that decision for yourself).
Lessons and Activities
Below is a list of lesson activities for Dr. Seuss Star Bellied Sneetches you can do with your students after reading the The Sneetches book.
Write about a favorite picnic or outdoor party! Share your story with a partner.
This lesson provides some simple discussion questions that are easy for little ones to understand about prejudice and discrimination against others.
In this activity, the teacher gives each child word cards to listen to and identify words in the story with specific endings (-all, -ear, and -art, for example). When the teacher reads all of their word cards aloud, they say “Sneetches.”
This lesson contains reading, writing, and listening activities to use during and after reading the story (snap your fingers when you hear the word “stars”). It also has a list of other Dr. Seuss books that deal with other social issues young children can understand in humorous ways.
- The Butter Battle Book
- Horton Hears a Who!
- Yertle the Turtle
- The Lorax
I love this activity Sarah did with her students! They read the story, and discussed how the the sneetches got along in the end because they felt good about themselves. Then, she had each student write what they feel good about on a star and put it on a giant sneetch. How fun!
She also includes activities for these other Dr. Seuss stories:
- The Foot Book
- Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
The Schroeder Page teacher blog has some ideas on some activities you can do for a day of Sneetches, including centers with math, snack, word work, and a Seussville hunt. Plus, she has this adorable art activity using her student’s hand print and arm so they can take home their very own Sneetch.
Clip Art by Carrie Teaching First created this writing template you can get free, along with these cut apart sentences she had her students put in order during guided reading.
This free activity has critical thinking questions you can ask your students and a written response sheet if you would like them to write a response.
I love this idea for dress like your favorite character day at school or if you’re going to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Read Across America Day on March 2nd. Either way, what a simple and easy costume to make. Just add a white feather boa on top and you’re a sneetch!
If you’re interested in more Dr. Seuss activities to use for your author study, you can also read about my 9 Silly Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book Activities.