Second-grade class “pet” Horton has had quite a journey these past few weeks. From enjoying classroom events to spending the weekend with students, Horton has heard and seen a lot! Many of us know Horton from the classical book “Horton Hears a Who”, by Dr. Seuss, but, students in Mrs. Fish’s second-grade class also know Horton as their beloved class pet.
Horton doesn’t just stay in the classroom though. Every weekend a student who is a “lucky duck” gets chosen and Horton goes home with a new friend, experiencing a variety of adventures. However, this isn’t just a lesson in responsibility, this is a chance for students to hone their writing skills.
In the beginning of the year, students read “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney, which tells the story of a class hamster who learns to read, write, and experience the world outside of his classroom walls during his weekend adventures with students. This year, Horton has had his own fun. Whether he’s going to Fright Fest, galloping on a horseback riding lesson, trick-or-treating, or going to the rodeo, Horton has seen a lot! Students don’t just take Horton home, they also take a collective journal home that they add to as they take on their responsibility for their class pet. This writing activity allows students freedom to choose their activities and what they write about. Each Monday, students are excited to share their journal portion with their fellow students. Mrs. Fish said, “It’s a fun way to connect with their families and the writing process and do it in a way that’s not so structured.”