"The Sneetches"
by Dr. Seuss 

Themes: Celebrating Diversity, Community, Choices The_Sneetches.jpg

Grade: 2 – 6

Story Synopsis: In this classic Dr. Seuss tale, the Star-Belly Sneetches exclude the Plain-Belly Sneetches from all their fun activities, claiming that the stars on their bellies make them better than the Sneetches who “had none upon thars.” When an enterprising stranger produces a machine that gives stars to the Plain-Belly Sneetches, the Star-Belly Sneetches try to find a new way to distinguish themselves as “the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.” The stranger manipulates the Sneetches into giving him more money as they continue seeking ways to distinguish between the two groups of Sneetches. Eventually the Sneetches, broke and confused, realize “that Sneetches are Sneetches” and should all get along, rather than judging each other based on whether or not they have stars on their bellies.

Why We Love This Book: Dr. Seuss was a master of teaching important lessons through zany characters and stories. We love how simply and creatively “The Sneetches” shows the problems caused by judging others solely on outward appearances. The story also illustrates how peer pressure and the desire to fit in can leave people vulnerable to those who would take advantage for financial or social gain. Having kids act out this story provides a safe and silly way for them to experience the feelings associated with prejudice and exclusion. NOTE: The three additional stories in The Sneetches and Other Stories also easily lend themselves to lessons about conflict, diversity, and community.

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