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Questions and Activities for Bartholomew and the Oobleck

written by: Margo Dill • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 1/20/2012

Everyone loves a good Dr. Seuss book! Bartholomew and the Oobleck is no exception. It is a sort of sequel to The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Here are some comprehension questions and activities to go with the Oobleck!

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    Comprehension questions

    Bartholomew and the Oobleck comprehension questions can help students improve their recall ability as well as higher level thinking skills. Here are some general questions about the book:

    1. How is Bartholomew and the Oobleck different from other Dr. Seuss books such as Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat? (Please note: Bartholomew and the Oobleck is not written in rhyme.)
    2. What lesson does King Derwin learn in this book?
    3. Have you ever had to say, "I'm sorry," to someone? Who and why? How did it make you feel?
    4. If you could have something different fall from the sky, what would it be?
    5. How is Bartholomew and the Oobleck similar or different from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs?

    The following Bartholomew and the Oobleck comprehension questions ask about characters in the story:

    1. Why does the king get angry at the weather? Why does he wish for a change?
    2. Who creates the oobleck and why?
    3. What does Bartholomew think about the oobleck when it first starts to fall? What does he do?
    4. How does oobleck affect the Royal Trumpeter and the Captain of the Guards?
    5. What does Bartholomew tell the king to do to get rid of the oobleck?
    6. How does the king respond to Bartholomew's suggestion?
    7. What are some character traits that describe Bartholomew? What events in the story show Bartholomew with these traits?
    8. What are some character traits that describe the king? What events in the story show the king with these traits?

    These Bartholomew and the Oobleck comprehension questions are for events in the story:

    1. What happens when the oobleck falls from the sky? Is this a good change or bad change in the weather? Why?
    2. Why are the words, "I'm sorry," magic words? In the story? In real life?
    3. What type of holiday is now celebrated in the kingdom?

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    Activities

    BartholomewOobleck cover 

    After answering some Bartholomew and the Oobleck comprehension questions, students can also do some fun Bartholomew and the Oobleck activities:

    • Make and describe oobleck: You can make oobleck with water, cornstarch, and food coloring. (1 cup of water, 2 cups of cornstarch, food coloring). Once you make oobleck; and your students have a chance to feel it, play with it, and so on, ask them to describe it in their reading response journals. They can use adjectives, write a poem, or compare it to the oobleck in the book.
    • What's falling from the sky? Another one of the fun Bartholomew and the Oobleck activities is to have students create their own short stories about being bored with the weather and asking magicians to make something else fall from the sky. In the story, the "new weather" should cause problems, just like the oobleck did. Students can create a different solution to the problem, other than saying "I'm sorry" if they wish. When students are finished with their stories, they create illustrations to go with them. These make a great bulletin board display. You can also use this lesson to take a piece of writing through the entire writing process.
    • Imagine oobleck falling in the classroom/community: Pose this question to your students: "What if oobleck fell from the sky in our community or in our classroom? What problems would it cause?" Ask students to brainstorm different problems oobleck could cause in their own lives. Think about their computers, pets, outdoor playground equipment, pencils and pens, farmers' fields, farm animals, buses and cars, and more. For young children, you can do this as a shared writing activity where each student comes up with one problem. For older students, they can write about it in their reading response journals after sharing their ideas as a class.

    Bartholomew and the Oobleck comprehension questions and activities make reading fun and a great learning experience!

Bartholomew and the Oobleck Lessons and Activities

This series has articles about Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss and ways to use it in the classroom.
  1. Teaching with Dr. Suess' Bartholomew and The Oobeleck: Two Lesson Ideas
  2. Questions and Activities for Bartholomew and the Oobleck