Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, has become a beloved author whose stories endear themselves to children and adults alike. His awards include a Pulitzer and three Academy Awards. With a Cat in the Hat craft, kindergarten teachers may take advantage of that appeal to give students a chance for fun and for practicing important reading and language skills.
Rhyming Words Game
The Cat is the Hat is a classic resource for teaching and practicing rhyming words and word families. A simple matching game supplements the fun while reinforcing these concepts. Photocopy a picture of the cat with a scarf onto cardstock and a separate picture of his hat. On each set, print a pair of rhyming words. Provide a copy of each set to students, along with a resealable “zipper” storage bag.
Students add color to the stripes on the hat and scarf. Use paint, glitter, colored sand, or patterned paper to add the stripes. If the colors on each pair match, they can be used to self-check the game answers. After cutting out the pictures and mixing up the hats, students read aloud the word on the cat, locate the hat with the rhyming word by reading it aloud as well and place the hat on the cat’s head.
Another alternative would be to write the word family stem (–am, –it, etc.) on the cat and several words from the group on the hats.
Recognizing the beginning, middle and end of a story is an important skill and, with this Cat in the Hat craft. kindergarteners will find practicing it fun. Students will enjoy practicing sequencing story events.
Give students a piece of paper on which you’ve reproduced a three-panel cartoon strip template. You will also need stamp pads with water-based ink, and either crayons or markers and pencils. You may also want some baby wipes for cleaning messy fingers.
In the first box, students create thumbprint characters to tell the beginning of the story. First, they ink their thumbs or index fingers. If using their thumbs is awkward, help by pressing them to the paper. Then, they use crayons or markers to add facial features, arms, legs and other details to the characters. Finally, students write speech bubbles in the box or a short sentence below it to explain the action.
Students then repeat the process in the next two boxes for the middle and end of the story, respectively.
To assess those students who are not yet ready to write dialog or sentences, ask them to explain the action represented.
Retelling the Story
An ability to retell the story is a quick tool for assessing comprehension, and an important first step toward the development of summarizing skills.
One way to incorporate crafts and storytelling is for students to make their own hats to wear while telling the story to someone else. Students paint round oatmeal containers with tempera paint and glue them to posterboard or cardboard brims painted to match. They add wallpaper or scrapbook paper stripes or other patterns on their hats.
If oatmeal containers are not available, larger coffee cans can be substituted. A strip of posterboard rolled into a column may also replace the containers.
Another option is to make paper-mache, sock, or paper bag puppets for students to use in acting out the story together. Scraps of fabric, buttons and other embellishments may be used to add details to the puppets.
Let creativity flow with this Cat in the Hat craft. Kindergarten students will surely also find laughter, entertainment and a love for learning in your classroom.
For games, activities, and more information about Dr. Seuss and his books, check out the websites below.
These Cat in the Hat craft ideas for kindergarten come from the 17 years of teaching experience and 40 years of crafting experience of the writer.