Cat within the Hat Actions to show literacy expertise

Learning to read can be hard work. But when you have a pal like the cat in the hat to help you, practicing the skills that will take you to the next level can be a lot of fun. Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorite cat-in-the-hut activities from teachers, bloggers, and our friends in Seussville. From initial letter recognition and rhyming to writing and reading theater, these activities will help readers build the skills they need in a fun and engaging way.

1. Play an alphabet game

Your young learners will love practicing their ABCs with this free printable alphabet game. To play, students each pick up a card, read the letter out loud, then place a colored tile on the matching letter and fill in all of the dots in the cat’s hat.

Skills practiced: letter recognition, letter-sound correspondence

Learn more: Tot Training

2. Create rhyming words

When rhyming, students must pay close attention to the sounds in the words. This helps them learn that words are made up of separate parts and teaches them the patterns and structures that make up our language.

Skills practiced: phonetics, phonological awareness

Learn more: Seussville

3. Make word family hats

Word families are a simple but effective strategy for teaching reading and spelling. For this activity, students will practice grouping short and long vowel word families in the red and white stripes of the cat in the hat’s top hat.

Skills practiced: phonetics, rhyming words, word recognition

Find out more: This reading mom

4. Perform a Cat in the Hat word search

Word searches are an easy way for students to practice and improve their reading skills. Skills like scanning, decoding, and word recognition are key components of reading fluency.

Skills practiced: vocabulary, fluency

Learn more: Seussville

5. Play a sight word game

Using cardstock or index cards, create cards with rhyming words from “The Cat in the Hat” and a smaller card with a picture of a birthday cake. Lay all cards face down on a flat surface. Hide the birthday cake under one of the cards. To play, have a student turn over a card and read the word. If you read the word correctly, it remains open. If they misread it, read it for them and then put it face down again. The game ends when they have found the hidden birthday cake and correctly read the card it is hidden under.

Skills practiced: letter and word recognition, phonetics, rhyming words

Learn more: There’s only one mama

6. Write about things you can do

Kids love the cat in the hat for all the outrageous things he can do! This activity challenges students to write about all the things they can do too. Beginning with the sentence “I can…” students brainstorm all the great things they are capable of.

Skills practiced: writing, reading comprehension

Learn more: Seussville

7. Perform a Cat in the Hat reading theater

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Nothing brings a story to life like a live performance! Check out these free Cat in the Hat reader drama scripts created by a teacher specifically for early elementary school students. Reading theater not only provides students with valuable oral reading practice, it also provides a fun and engaging means of improving fluency and comprehension.

Practiced Skills: Fluency and understanding

Learn more: Kevin Sheehan

8. Learn about opposites

There are so many memorable Dr. Seuss characters kids can relate to! In this activity, students will take a closer look at two favorites – the cat in the hat and Horton – and look for similarities and differences between them and perhaps recognize some characteristics in themselves.

Skills practiced: comparing and contrasting, making connections to texts and signs

Learn more: Seussville

9. Go beyond the text

There are so many ways to increase your students’ reading comprehension by delving deeper into the story of The Cat in the Hat. For example, tell the story from the fish’s point of view. Count the number of syllables in each sentence and try to figure out the pattern. Think of questions you would ask the cat in the hat if you met her and more.

Skills practiced: reading, writing

Learn more: lesson ideas

10. Learn more with the cat in Hat’s learning library

The stories and activities in the Cat in the Hat Learning Library cover a wealth of fascinating topics such as: the human body, the environment, animals, the solar system and more! Not only do these texts make learning fun (because, you know…the cat in the hat!), they’re also great for stimulating conversation and research.

Learn more: Seussville

Do you love these cat-in-a-hat activities? Find tons of free printables and class activities to start with Dr. Teach Seuss reading, math, SEL and more!

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