"The Lorax" is a classic Dr. Seuss story used to spark conversation with youngsters about environmental issues. As the Once-ler continues chopping down truffula trees to feed his Thneed business, the small, furry Lorax will not pipe down. "I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues," he cries. Teachers, parents, babysitters and other adults can use the story as a starting point for more in-depth projects about the effects of industry on the environment.
Truffula Plant Pot
Transform a plain terra cotta pot into a Lorax-themed plant holder with brightly colored foam. Draw a rectangle on orange craft foam that matches the height of your pot and goes the entire way around. Cut out the rectangle and glue the ends together so it forms an enclosed circle. Create a furry face using a thick piece of orange craft foam, googly eyes and a thick, yellow yarn mustache. Glue the face to the front of the craft foam circle over the seam. The result is a foam Lorax that slides over the top of the pot. Plant a bonsai tree in the pot or fill it with fake flowers. As another variation, create a bushy tree top resembling a truffula tree that slides over the rim of the pot.
Truffula Idea Tree
After reading "The Lorax" aloud and discussing the important issues in the story, create a truffula-themed bulletin board. Give children colorful leaves that are big enough to write ideas or draw pictures on; ideas include how to protect the environment, things the children appreciate about nature or recurring issues within the story. Ask each child to decorate a leaf. Cut a large tree trunk from colored butcher paper and attach the leaves to it.
Create a group of truffula trees with a hunk of clay, a yellow- and black-striped pipe cleaner, and four multicolored pom-poms. First, cut the pipe cleaner into four sections of varying sizes. Dip the end of each pipe cleaner into liquid glue or use a hot glue gun to secure a pom-pom to the end of each pipe cleaner; allow the glue to dry. Shape the clay into a mound and press the ends of the pipe cleaners into the clay. When the trees are done, display them on a windowsill or put them in a shadow box with a color photocopy of a page from the book in the background.
Tissue Paper Truffula
Give children a sheet of regular paper, a half sheet of yellow construction paper, and squares of purple, yellow, orange or red tissue paper. Direct them to create truffula trees by cutting out one or two trunks from the yellow construction paper and gluing them to the regular paper. Then show them how to cut or tear small pieces of tissue paper, dab glue on them, and press them onto the top of the trunk to serve as leaves. Allow them ample time for attaching the tissue paper; it is a particularly fine workout for younger kids and can take awhile.
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