The Lorax is Back!
Slated for release on March 2, 2012, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is a 3D-CG adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. Dr. Seuss’ original book has sold more than 1.6 million copies, and it has been ranked by educators as one of the top 20 books for children.
The film’s environmental fable may draw fans and critics alike. Ultimately Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax offers a message of hope and renewal, restoration and responsibility. Forests matter to everyone, and we must use and care for them responsibly and sustainably.
The book―and now the movie―show how important it is to take care of trees and forests, which provide many public benefits: clean air and water, wood products we use every day, wildlife habitat and recreation. Given the many threats to America’s forests due to climate change, pests and pathogens, and land conversion, the movie can help students think critically about what has to happen today to protect the health and productivity of America’s forests.
Watch the movie or read the book with your students, and discuss the inherent value of forests and importance of sustainable management by using the package of PLT activities we have prepared to help students understand the importance of working forests and other topics related to the movie.
Activity 1: Who Speaks for the
Students read (or watch!) Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax and examine the importance of conserving and sustainably managing natural resources. (Grades 2-8)
Activity 2: We All Need Trees
Students are often surprised to learn how many different products we get from trees. Use this activity to help your students learn just how much we depend on trees in our daily lives. (Grades PreK-6)
Activity 3: Three Cheers for Trees
It’s easy to take for granted both trees and the many benefits they provide. In this activity, students picture how their community would be different without trees and think about how much trees add to people’s lives. (Grades 1-4)
Activity 4: Forest for the Trees
In this activity, students will role-play managing a Tree Farm. By using a piece of land as a Tree Farm, they will begin to understand the economic factors that influence management decisions for private forest lands. (Grades 4-8)
Activity 5: 400-Acre Wood
In this activity, students will play the role of manager of a 400-acre (162-hectare) piece of public forest. Through this role, students will begin to understand the complex considerations that influence management decisions about forest lands. (Grades 7-8)
Activity 6: Plant a Tree
Never underestimate the power of a tree! Besides giving us an amazing array of paper and wood products, trees provide a host of other benefits – from shading our backyards to assisting in the maintenance of the global climate. Students can express their appreciation of trees by planning and carrying out their own tree-planting project. (Grades 1-8)
Geisel, Theodor (Dr. Seuss). The
Lorax. Random House. 1971
Grades PreK-6. ISBN: 0394823370
In this classic children’s book, the Once-ler describes how his greedy actions destroyed a beautiful and thriving environment. Children will enjoy the colorful characters and rhyming verse. Also available in Spanish.
to Support Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax
Download these six PLT activities for free to support "teachable moments" related to the film.
The U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Discover the Forest campaign encourages parents and children to spend time in forests and reconnect with nature. It aims to get children outdoors, help create interest in the environment and help children develop a lifelong relationship with the natural world. With the upcoming release of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, the USFS website www.discovertheforest.org has been expanded to promote the concept of forest sustainability, and USFS has partnered with the Ad Council and NBC/Universal to create a series of PSAs that use scenes from the movie to highlight www.discovertheforest.org.
The Lorax visits Washington, DC on December 5, 2011 to launch the PSAs and meets U.S. Chief Tom Tidwell. Photo by Amanda Cooke, American Forest Foundation