Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: I saw It on Mulberry Street

by Deborah Pace Rowley
Today’s dinnertime activity is inspired by the Dr. Seuss book And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In this classic tale, Marco answers his dad’s question, “What did you see on the way home from school?” with an invented tale that gets bigger and better the longer it continues.

At dinnertime tonight participate in some storytelling of your own. Explain that the purpose is to make the craziest, silliest, most imaginative story possible. The goal isn’t to tell the truth. Begin the festivities by asking Dr. Seuss’ question, “What did you see on the way home from school?” If your children aren’t yet in school, you can ask, “What did you see in front of our house today?”

Each person in the family then takes a turn describing the scene. Tell the story round-robin style so that one person picks up where the last person leaves off. All the elements have to tie in together. If Dad saw a lion, Mom can see the lion tamer chasing after the lion, brother might see the lion tamer tripping over an elephant’s trunk, and sister might see the elephant putting down his trunk to pick up the peanuts that had spilled out of her backpack. Continue going around the table until everyone has run out of ideas and/or the story is super-sized enough for Dr. Seuss. For added fun, you can cover the table with butcher paper or a paper table cloth and illustrate your outlandish tale as the story unfolds or as an after-dinner activity.  
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