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Dr. Seuss ESL Lesson
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss - Thank You

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Dr, Seuss "All in One" ESL Lesson

This is a printable ESL ESL Lesson

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Dr. Seuss – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss – thank you for what you gave the world.


Look at the words below and match them with their definitions. If you don’t know the word try to predict its meaning.









Made a member

Something that makes you laugh

Pictures that tell a story

A dangerous disease, sometimes fatal (can kill you)

Something you cannot do legally

People who come from one country to live in another

When something is liked or enjoyed by a large number of people

People or animals with personalities from a fictional story

The famous Cat in the Hat, the elephant Horton and the Christmas phobic Grinch are all popular characters created by famous American writer and cartoonist, Theodor Seuss Geisel, more popularly known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss was born in March, 1904 and lived until September, 1991. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. His father’s name was to Theodor Robert Seuss and his mother, Henrietta Geisel, both of whom are German immigrants to the United States. He attended Dartmouth College in 1921 and worked at the humor magazine Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern. He started using his pen name ‘Seuss’ after he was caught drinking alcohol during the prohibition period in order to continue working for the magazine. He later entered Oxford University in England to get a degree in literature and met and married his wife Helen Palmer before returning to the U.S.A.

He continued writing and drawing for various publications. He was also active during WWII writing editorials and drawing cartoons for a New York newspaper and supported the war effort drawing posters for the government.

Dr. Seuss moved to California after the war where he returned to writing children’s books which included his most famous works like Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and If I Ran the Zoo. He died September 24, 1991 due to throat cancer. In May 2008, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in the California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.

Reading Comprehension Check Questions

  • Why did Theodore Seuss Geisel change his name?
  • How old was Dr. Seuss when he died?
  • Where did his parents come from?
  • Noted the importance of the following instituions in Dr. Seuss’s life

A – California Museum of History, Women and the Arts.

B – Oxford University

C – Dartmouth College

Reading Extension – Understanding Paragraphs.

Read the article about Dr. Seuss again and write one sentencesummarizing what each paragraph is describing.

Paragraph 1 ___________________________________________________________________________

Paragraph 2 ___________________________________________________________________________

Paragraph 3 ___________________________________________________________________________

Paragraph 4 ___________________________________________________________________________

Relative Clauses

Look at the following relative clauses and match them to what they refer to when used.







A time

A place or location

A possession

A person

A person when they are the object in the sentence

A thing, item, object (not a person)

Fill on the gaps with the correct relative clause, put a cross in the gap if you think the sentence doesn’t need a relative clause.

  • Dr. Seuss was a writer ____ was famous for his children’s stories.
  • Helen Palmer is the name of the woman ____ he married.
  • Dr. Seuss, ____ was not his real name, died in 1991.
  • Dr. Seuss, ____ real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born in Springfield, Masachusetss, USA.
  • Dr. Seuss wrote for the Jack-O-Lantern magazine at Dartmouth college ____ he was a student.

Free Discussion Activity

Talk to the people in your group about a writer you know, perhaps from your own country. Make notes about what they have written and other facts you know about them. If you do not know a writer, think of another well-known person.

Internet Research

Look at the list of children’s writers below – have you heard of them? Use the internet to find out some of the books they wrote, where they were from and whether they are still alive.

  • Eric Carle
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Roald Dahl
  • Judy Blume
  • Louisa M. Alcott

Extended Writing Activity – writing prompts

Choose one of the options below to write about. Write 3 paragraphs.

  • A short story about a talking dog
  • A biography of writer you researched in the activity above
  • A memory from your childhood
  • A favourite tv show, book or game you loved to play as a child