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Seussified Art and Politicized Sneetches

May 29, 2013

Then they yelled at the darken ones who had badges at the start, “We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the liability. But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned, “If which badge is what, or the other way round?”

Ever inspired and more than ever distracted, Wednesday finds me trawling the DS106 Assignment Bank for a writing assignment–something to gnaw on throughout the day. I find that part of the way I stay creatively active throughout my work day is by having something open that I’m reading, writing, or thinking about. Today I selected to explore the “Three Word Wednesday” site submitted as a DS106 assignment of the same name by my sister-friend Giulia Forsythe.

Today’s words are: badge, darken, and liability

To make the assignment more challenging, I remixed it. Remixing a DS106 assignment is always fun for me because you never know what you’re gonna get. This time the remix was a “Dr. Seuss it” which calls on the artist to transform their piece into something with recognizable Seussical properties.

I elected to find the story about star-bellied Sneetches and found the full-text online. The star-bellied Sneetches are prominent character’s in The Sneetches and Other Stories, a collection of stories by American author Dr. Seuss, published in 1961.”

The original text:

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start, “We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst. But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned, “If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

I then replaced a few key words in the text with today’s Three Word Wednesday words. I knew this would prove an easy task because I elected the story after seeing today’s three words. The words badges, darken, and liability lend themselves to a story of prejudice.

Dr. Seuss’ story provides a simple, child-friendly critique of dehumanizing sorting practices. The message of this story is clear and continues to be salient in too many community and institutional spaces. Doing some quick research I found a few resources for those who teach, and parents of the little dudes.

Civil and Human Rights Themes in Dr. Seuss’ [The Sneetches] and [Yertle the Turtle] – C-SPAN Video Library http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/311256-2 via @cspanvl

Example Lesson Plan

You can teach a Sneetch from Peacework.

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