Greetings from ‘Hoo-ville

This morning I had the pleasure of enjoying Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at my daughter’s school. It was a one-woman rendition (technically two: the gym teacher played the role of Little CindyLou Who) for all of the K/1 classes (there are eight!).

For 30 minutes, all the ‘Hoos here in Hooville, “the tall and the small,” made not a sound as they watched poetry in motion. There was nary a wiggle or sound, except to remind Ms. Maylee that you don’t stand on chairs (it was the Grinch’s sleigh). No doubt the kids were familiar with the story, either reading the book at home or watching the TV program. Still, every one of them paid close attention. Watching the performance reminded me how powerful reading out loud can be … even when it’s something they have heard hundreds of times.

If you don’t have a copy handy, you’ll find the complete text of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other great seasonal stories and poems to read aloud at Be creative … make the pictures come to life with your own homemade props. Here’s what Ms. Maylee had: a pair of stuffed heart pillows (you can make two from paper), some empty sacs, a stuffed dog with a twig tied to his head, some string for reins, a chair for a sled, torn paper for snowflakes, and Santa hat. Let your audience be Little CindyLou Who.

You might also check out the Grinch’s page in Seussville. You’ll find plenty of Grinchy-activities. Also be sure to stop by Author Amok for this week’s Poetry Friday round-up. You’ll find great seasonal selections there, as well.

5 responses to “Greetings from ‘Hoo-ville

  1. What a glorious visual, 8 classes of k/1 children intently listening to a read-aloud classic. It just makes my heart swell up.

    I think we need to start a movement to bring back group reading. Nothing could be simpler than group reading — well, except “nothing” which is what I find teachers, care-givers, daycamp counsellors consistently do these days when it’s time for children to “have fun”: they put on a movie. Ok. I don’t want to make this an ugly comment (I’ve been fighting that movie battle for 9 years now) but suffice it to say that I’d love it if we had a “Just say NO to movies” campaign aimed at replacing video time with group reading.

    Happy Holidays!!!

  2. Ha! I think we need to start a movement to bring back group reading and to bring back READING. And to bring back the giving of books for every holiday. The publishing industry needs us right now.

    Also, a quick thank you for including Sharing with Writers, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website, ( as part of your blog roll.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  3. How fun — wish *I* could have been there! I love watching passionate storytellers. What a treat.

  4. I find myself slipping into a Boris Karloff accent for the Grinch when I read it aloud. The book and the old TV special have become totally interwoven in my mind–this is one case where the movie is as good as the book!

  5. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Last year I had heard about a classroom substituting films for a live teacher because she was in/out of school recovering from a heart attack. But I didn’t realize how much it is being used in other classrooms until recently. I agree – more reading, less media!

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