As soon as my students see the cans of Play-doh sitting out they get excited! Common questions are “Is that for us?” or “Do we get to play with that today?” And why not? As a child I enjoyed creating things out of Play-doh and still do today. Play-doh is fun and creative! I also enjoy Dr. Seuss books for the same reason. So why not combine the two? When we teach our students about children and the importance of literacy and play, I think it’s only fair to include the importance of creativity and imagination. This interactive lesson strives to connect the areas of development with creative play in a way that, I hope, would honor Dr. Seuss!
Time Frame: 2 periods (43 minutes)
Class Size: 12
- 11.4.12 C Analyze practices that optimize child development (e.g., stimulation, safe environment, nurturing caregivers, reading to children).
- 11.4.12 E Identify practices that develop the child’s imagination, creativity and reading and writing skills through literature.
- I ask students to define creativity and to think about how creativity is like tending a garden. We discuss their responses and the fact that creative thinkers are needed everywhere, in all types of jobs and careers, and even in parenting. We need to encourage the children in our lives to be imaginative and creative by exposing them to problem-solving situations especially in play, the opportunity to experience new things as well as try things a different way, and to be able to experiment with all types of art and craft materials.
- Computer & SMARTBOARD
- Digital Camera
- Read an article titled “Creativity and Play: Fostering Creativity” Have students summarize important information contained in the article for later use.
- Read the book, aloud or YouTube style, by Dr.Seuss called “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” to get students thinking in a nonsensical, creative way.
- Put students into small groups and give them containers of Play-doh.
- Tell students to imagine that a lost manuscript of short stories by Dr. Seuss has been discovered. Help is needed to create original characters for this new collection of short stories. While making their character, students will answer questions on the Play-doh Evaluation Sheet.
- Students will then fill out the Dr. Seuss Lab Chart and take a picture of their creation for their presentation the following day as Play-doh does not keep well over night.
- The next day students will orally present their creations while viewing them on the SMARTBOARD via their digital pictures.
- Here is an ANIMOTO link to past Play-doh creations so you have an idea of what the project might look like.
- The Play-doh creation, evaluation sheet and oral presentations are all graded. See rubric in attachments.
- Creativity and Play Lesson (PDF)
- Play-doh Evaluation for Play Lesson (PDF)
- Dr. Seuss Play-doh Chart (PDF)