The  Lorax Cover
The Lorax


Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth's natural beauty.

“The big, colorful pictures and the fun images, wordplays and rhymes make this an amusing exposition of the ecology crisis."


What was the land of the Lorax like before the Onceler arrived? Did it seem like someplace you'd like to live? What parts of your own environment would you be sad to see go?

What kind of person is the Once-ler? Why won't he listen to the Lorax? The Lorax says to the Once-ler, “You are crazy with greed.” Why does the Lorax say that? Do you agree or disagree?

Why does the Lorax speak for the trees? Why is it important to speak up for others? Have you ever spoken up for someone else? Has someone else ever spoken up for you?

How does the Once-ler’s Thneed business hurt the land of the Lorax? What happens to the Swomee-swans, the Brown Bar-ba-loots, and the Humming-fish? How could things have been different if the Once-ler listened to the Lorax?

What do you think the boy hearing the story will do with the Truffula seed that the Once-ler tosses to him? What would you do if you were the boy?

Do you think the Lorax and his friends will come back if new Truffula Trees grow? Where do you think they have been?

The Once-ler says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." What does the Once-ler mean? Can one person make a difference? Can you? What are some things you can do to better your own environment?

How does the Once-ler feel about what his Thneed business did to the Lorax and friends?

Dr. Seuss used bright colors on some pages of the book and dull colors on others. Did you notice this? Why do you think he did that?

Why is THE LORAX called a cautionary tale?


What can your class do?

Ideas for Earth Day and every day

Start a class discussion about Earth Day. What does the day mean to your students? Why is it important to take care of the Earth all year round? What is our commitment to future generations?

Share articles and news clips about global warming. Why is this issue so important today and why is education about it so necessary? What can we do to help?

Brainstorm a list of simple Earth-friendly actions that people can do every day, such as changing to energy-efficient lighbulbs, carpooling, picking up litter, and using both the front and the back of scrap paper.

Have students research Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Rachel Carson, and other naturalists. What can we learn from these individuals?

Start a schoolwide Earth Day campaign! Decorate your classroom and the hallways with posters that have students’ environmental slogans. Have your class sign the pledge on the front of this poster.

Have students share pro-environment ideas or a cheer for Earth Day over the loudspeaker or on your school’s radio or television station.

Clean up your school’s playground or a local park. Give students free time afterwards to play games and enjoy the clean space they have created.

• Challenge students to a game of Earth Day Jeopardy. Create your own or use the one on the Education World Web site:

Write poems for the Earth. Encourage students to try their hand at haiku, acrostic poems, or shape poems.

• Have students bring in recyclable items and sort them according to your state’s recycling regulations. Keep a running count of how many items have been collected in each category. You may want to make it even more interesting by having classes compete to see who recycles the most material.

• Make creations from recyclable materials, such as tire swings or pinecone bird feeders for the playground.

• Decorate old t-shirts and make them new again.

• Invite park rangers, environmentalists, or government officials to speak with students about local policies and volunteering opportunities.

• Decorate trash bags with Earth Day messages for use at a local supermarket.

• Spread the word . . . have each student share a tip for helping the environment with 10 friends or family members in person, on the phone, or via e-mail. Discuss how much impact can be made by sharing knowledge and using our voices and minds.

• Learn about the environment you live in and have the class do research specific to your region. Create materials to share with residents on the beauty of the region and how to keep it safe.


Environmental Protective Agency Kids Club
This site helps children explore their environment and learn how to protect it.

Center for Environmental Education Online
This site is a dynamic resource for educators and students, founded by Jayni and Chevy Chase.



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