What it is: The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That is a new PBS TV series and website that ignites an excitement about science for primary students. The series is based on the Beginner Book Collection “The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library”. The goal of the series and online resources is to “cultivate positive views about science and scientists among the next generation-the children who will become tomorrow’s citizens and innovators-and help teachers and families build communities of science explorers.” I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of building communities of explorers, science or otherwise! In the TV series, The Cat in the Hat, Sally, and Nick set off on a science adventure. In one episode, the trio flies with birds to discover why they migrate. In another, they are taking a snowcat to the Arctic to explore freezing and melting. As the Cat in the Hat guides them, the children solve problems by engaging in science inquiry. Right now students can watch video clips on The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That website, play related games, find activities and coloring pages to print, and play games with snapshots from the program. Right now adventures on the site include science concepts like bird migration, camouflage, and melting/freezing.
How to integrate The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That into your curriculum: If you are a regular visitor of my blog, you know that I am a big Dr. Seuss fan (see pictures of Dr. Seuss inspired classroom theme here). While this site isn’t strictly Seuss, it does a remarkable job of bringing The Cat in the Hat to life with a focus on scientific inquiry. Use the videos on the site to introduce your students to new science concepts including migration, camouflage, and melting/freezing (my guess is more will be added as the series takes off). Students can engage in the inquiry process along with Sally and Nick and then practice the newly acquired concept in the games section. This would be a fun site to use as a science center that students visit on classroom computers during a coordinating unit. Students can view videos prior to exploring the concept as background knowledge, or watch the videos after engaging in their own inquiry process on the topic and compare the journey of inquiry taken. Did Sally and Nick come to the same conclusions?
The printables on the site include fun mazes, coloring pages, matching vocabulary, and even bookmarks, stickers, and other paper crafts. One of the print outs in the Paper Craft Sections is a Cat in the Hat frame that would be great for framing pictures of students engaging in their own scientific inquiry.
Tips: Be sure to click on the teacher button to find an Explorer’s Guide where you can find tips for engaging young students in scientific inquiry. You will also find tips for using the online video in your classroom, a list of Cat in the Hat science books, and find video enhanced activities.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That in your classroom!