The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!™
Viewing Tips for Teachers
Throughout the country, children are getting excited about science through the adventures of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!™. Use these Viewing Tips to help children in your classroom or program join this new community of science explorers.
Promote Active Viewing
You can use The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!™ as a teaching tool by connecting the science ideas and inquiry skills introduced in specific episodes to children's own science observations and explorations. You may show a video clip from the show to introduce an upcoming classroom exploration or as a way of extending children's thinking about previous observations and explorations. You can support children's science learning by using strategies before, during, and after viewing that get them actively engaged in science. Research tells us that when adults actively view quality educational television programs with children, these shows can get children excited and involved in learning.
- Preview the program adventure or online video clip, and notice the main science idea. Think about experiences your children have had that relate to this concept, either in the classroom or at home. For example, the program "Trees Company" is about trees as a habitat for animals. Children may have observed animals like birds, squirrels, and caterpillars that live in and around trees.
- Plan specific questions and comments that you will make before, during, and after the viewing to help focus children on the science idea and engage them in inquiry.
- Ask children questions that draw out previous experiences at school or at home and help to focus them on the main idea of the episode. For example, for "Trees Company" you could ask, "What kinds of animals have you noticed that live in or around trees?" and "Why do you think in or near a tree might be a good place for these animals to live?"
- Introduce the program by providing a quick overview that will pique children's interest. You could ask children to make a prediction. For "Trees Company" you could say "In this clip, Sally and Nick are looking for animals that live in trees all the time. What do you think they might find?" Encourage them to focus on the main idea, by saying "As we watch, let’s see what Sally and Nick find out about these animals and why a tree is a good place for them to live."
- Invite your children to sing along with the characters. The program’s songs will get them excited about doing and learning science.
- Encourage children to join in the science adventures of Sally, Nick, and the Cat the Hat. Ask them to look at what the characters are doing and share their own ideas. Make comments like "It looks like they are going on an exploration to discover..." or "How do you think they will find out about...?"
- Assess children's understanding and interests related to the science idea introduced in the episode by listening to the questions and comments they make as they watch it. This will help you follow up with conversations and activities that build on their understanding, extend their learning, or provide related experiences.
- Ask questions about the program that help children recall what they viewed, and that help them think more about the main concept and how the characters explored it. Ask recall questions like "What did Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat find out about . . . ?" and "What are some things they did to find out about...?" Help children focus on the science inquiry used by the characters in their adventure: looking closely, asking questions, making predictions, trying things out, collecting data, and generating ideas.
- Ask questions and make comments that make connections between the show and children's own explorations and learning. If you have already engaged children in related explorations, you can ask "What are some things we found out when we...?" or "I remember that we observed..." Invite them to think about how they used inquiry in their own explorations: "How did we find out about...?" If you are using the show to introduce an exploration, invite children to help plan it by asking "How could we find out more about...?"
- Use the ACTIVITIES on this website to support children's own inquiry-based explorations of science ideas introduced in the show or related concepts.
- Encourage children to model themselves after Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat - by asking questions, making predictions, conducting investigations, generating ideas, and discussing and sharing their own discoveries. Use terms that name these science inquiry skills when you see children using them.
- Encourage children to draw pictures about their favorite part of the program exploration.
- Encourage children to repeat The Cat in the Hat rhymes and make up their own rhymes.
- Share a variety of books about the topic, including non-fiction books. Recommended science books for young children are included in each activity and in The Cat in the Hat's Science Book Shelf.
- See The Cat in the Hat's Top Ten Tips for Engaging Children in Science for more ideas.
Copyright 1957, 1985 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! logo and word mark TM 2010 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., Portfolio Entertainment Inc and Collingwood O’Hare Productions Ltd. The PBS KIDS logo is a registered trademark of PBS. Both are used with permission. All rights reserved.