COURSE TITLE:

LIFE LESSONS From DR. SEUSS: Kindness in the K-5 Classroom

NO. OF CREDITS:

3 QUARTER CREDITS
[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]

WA CLOCK HRS:  
OREGON PDUs:
30
30

INSTRUCTOR:

Lawrence Rzeznik
ldrez1@optonline.net

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Dr. Seuss used his literature to deliver valuable life lessons such as being yourself, accepting others as they are, use of imagination and reflection, outlooks on success, treating others respectfully, spirituality, changing points of view, facing adversity, not bragging, as well as many other life concepts. Throughout this course participants will look for the deeper meaning which can be found in the works of one of the most popular childrenʼs authors. Elementary teachers can use this  course to support their efforts for character education, developing an attitude for service and kindness to others. Participants will compile lists of Dr Seuss books and videos and will create lessons that enhance social and emotional learning in the classroom.

Text: Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life by Kevin Ryan and Karen Bohlin, costs range from $6-$26 depending on your choice of text.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

1. Have compiled a list of Dr. Seuss books and videos and identified which life lessons/concepts each demonstrates.
2. Understand and be able to communicate to students how these stories translate into life lessons in their own lives.
3. Have created usable lesson plans from the Dr. Seuss material included in this course.
4. Have researched other texts and movies/videos for content that can be used in the classroom and create useable lesson plans with them.
5. Have created hands-on activities that can be used across curriculum.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.


HOURS EARNED:
Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.




 

UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT INFORMATION

REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%



 

CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.

ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION

REQUIRED TEXT

You may use either of the texts listed: Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life by Kevin Ryan and Karen Bohlin, 1999. Available from Amazon.com, buy new $20.47 or used from $5.00 (with S/H).
                                                                                                         OR
Character Under Attack: & What You Can Do About It by Carl Sommer, 2005, 95 pages. Available from Amazon.com, buy new $12.95 or used from $4.00 (with S/H).
                                                                                                       ALSO
*Required Stories for Assignment #3: Found in most libraries The Cat in the Hat Comes Back Fox in Socks Gerald McBoing Boing Gertrude McFuzz Green Eggs and Ham The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat Horton Hears a Who! How The Grinch Stole Christmas Hunches in Bunches If I Ran The Zoo The Lorax Maybe You Should Fly A Jet! Oh, The Places You’ll Go Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? Sneeches What Was I Scared OF? Yertle The Turtle The Zax *Other stories may be substituted with instructor permission.

  • Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life by Ryan Kevin Bohlin Karen E. (1998-10-21) Hardcover

    Buy from Amazon

MATERIALS FEE

None beyond text costs.

ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR HOURS OR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT

A. INFORMATION ACQUISITION

Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments. 

Assignment #1: COURSE FORUM - What is Character Education?

Read either Building Character in School: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life by Ryan & Bohlin or Character Under Attack: & What You Can Do About It by Sommer.  These books describe the need and methods for character building like those expressed in the works of Dr. Seuss.

After reading, write the equivalent of a 1– 2 page paper on what character education is, why it is important, and how teachers as well as parents can cultivate it through meaningful curriculum.  Integrate into your writing how the works of Dr. Seuss are valuable tools in helping to get these important values instilled into the youth of our country.

Assignment #2: COURSE FORUM - Life Lessons Concept Worksheets

Create “Life Lesson Concept” worksheets for two Dr. Seuss books of your choice that you will be able to use in your class. Your worksheet should include all the value clarification questions you want to enforce through use of your text.  These worksheets will be used to help start discussions with your class centered on life lessons. After using these worksheets in class, critique the results. Write 1-2 paragraphs in the response box indicating what went well and what needs to be revamped.

Assignment #3: Journal of Values

Read all of the required stories listed in the bibliography for assignment #3. 

  • Keep a journal and for each story list which life concepts could be used to illustrate values and how they were illustrated in the story. 
  • After reading all of the stories, use your journal to create a quick check reference table that can be used as a reminder before teaching a lesson as to which ideas or concepts can be taught by the story. 

In the online response space, write the equivalent of a 1-2 (250-500 words) page paper summarizing your journal and include the table that you created.

Assignment #4: COURSE FORUM - Life Lesson Activities

Utilize the website and follow the links to find 10 useable activities associated with Dr. Seuss books. List which activities you will include in your lessons and explain how you will use them to teach life lessons.
http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/Dr__Seuss/index.shtml

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT

B. LEARNING APPLICATION

In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments. 

 



Assignment #5: COURSE FORUM - Hands on Activities

Keeping the concept of life lesson at the forefront, research the Internet and create 3 (three) hands-on activities.  They do not need to be Dr. Seuss related, just activities that you would be able to use in your own classroom.

These activities should meet the following criteria:
    a. They are grade appropriate.
    b. They clearly integrate one or more life lessons.
    c. They are directly related to Dr. Seuss texts or other literature.
    d. The activity gets all students involved.  

Post a description of your 3 hands-on activities in the online response box.
Your Activity Description should include the following:
    a. The life lesson that will be incorporated and how.
    b. The book that will be used.
    c. A list of discussion topics you will use with your children during the projects.

Assignment #6: Prepare & Conduct Your Lesson

Assignment #6-A:

  • Create a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Use The Heritage Institute lesson template or one from your district, and either load your lesson in The Heritage Institute lesson library, or, if you prefer not to share it with other teachers, just submit along with your essay.
  • Implement your lesson with students in your classroom. (If you are not teaching or it is summer, find youth in your community or another classroom to work with.)
  • Submit your lesson along with a 250-500 words of what worked well and what could be improved, into the response box. Include any student feedback on your lesson as well as photos/web sites showing student work.

                                                                                                                  OR
Assignment #6-B:

  • Create a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course (No need to implement), and either load your lesson in The Heritage Institute lesson library, or, if you prefer not to share it with other teachers, submit to your instructor.
  • Write a 500+ word article concerning an educational area of interest to you.
  • The article could be an opinion piece, a call-to-action, a personal story or combination of all of these.
    Submit your lesson along with your article via the response box or file upload. 

Assignment #7: (500 Level ONLY) COURSE FORUM - Fostering Life Lesson Themes

Option A)
Dr. Seuss incorporated into his literature an almost magical method of telling stories while teaching character development.  In all of his pieces, he shows the ups and downs that occur throughout life and how we can learn to overcome this adversity and achieve our goals.  He teaches us the importance of the big picture, the larger themes of being ourselves, being honest, and just being happy.  In this assignment, you are to write a 1-2 page paper on what you currently do and have done to foster these larger themes of life lessons throughout your teaching.   You are also required to include the areas in which you will be working on in the future and the ideas from this course that you will be implementing in your future classes.       
                                                                                                                         OR
Option B)

Another assignment of your choice with the instructorʼs prior approval.

Assignment #8: (500 Level ONLY) Integration Paper

Complete the requirements for university quarter credits by submitting a final Integration Paper.
A heading is required. Please use the following format:
SUGGESTION: You may do a COPY/PASTE of the following heading format and 5 questions into the RESPONSE box, then input the required information and write your answers.

INTEGRATION PAPER for:
Your Name:______________________________
Course Number: ED437P

Course Name: Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss

Level (400 or 500): _________
Number of Credits: 3

Advisor: Larry Rzeznik

Date: ____________________

Respond to each of the 5 questions below. (First list the question and then write your answer)

1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?

2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?

3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?

4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?

5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

C. INTEGRATION PAPER

Assignment #9: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

SELF REFLECTION & INTEGRATION PAPER
(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS ON YOUR WORK:

Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE:

Lawrence Rzeznik, M.S.B.S.

Larry received his degrees in Biology and Education from S.U.N.Y. Geneseo. He has been a high school science teacher for since 1999. He was an adjunct biology and chemistry instructor for nursing colleges for one year.

Larry created curriculum for animal behavior, environmental biology, general biology, and forensics science courses. He is currently involved in creating various professional development courses, as well, as participating in graduate courses to stay up to date on current topics.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

LIFE LESSONS From DR. SEUSS: Kindness in the K-5 Classroom

Ryan, Kevin & Bohlin, Karen. Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life; San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999 or 2003 Edition, 304 pages.
For those willing to take up the task of teaching ethics, the book provides a practical blueprint for teachers, schools and parents.

Sommer, Carl. Character Under Attack: & What You Can Do About It, Houston, TX: Advance Pub, 2005, 1st Ed, 112 pages or 2006 expanded edition.
In a nation that has drifted far from its core moral system, Carl Sommer’s hard-hitting expose reveals the underlying causes and offers common-sense solutions for improving America’s education and moral climate.