There was debate raging in Rhonda Allison's first-grade class at Fremont Elementary School on Friday afternoon.
Half the class was screaming "mouse," the other half hollering "tree." On the screen in front of the 14 students were pictures of things depicted in "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss.
The students were playing a memory game, guessing the order of appearance of eight items from the book, as part of Read Across America Day, held in conjunction with the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Friday would have been the author's 103rd birthday.
Allison's class has been integrating Dr. Seuss into daily learning for more than a week, including many lessons derived from reading his books. The children read "If I Ran the Zoo," then wrote their own version.
Friday, the class read "Green Eggs and Ham," then experienced the dish for themselves.
"The green eggs and ham was good. I liked it, but it looked weird," said Calli Hess, 6. "We learned that today was his birthday."
The lessons will continue next week when the class reads "The Lorax" then "Oh the Places You'll Go," Seuss' final book.
Read Across America Day was created 10 years ago by the National Education Association and is held annually on Dr. Seuss' birthday. Events including guest readers, poetry jams, reading contests and birthday parties are held throughout the country as part of the celebration.
Students could also send an electronic birthday card to the Cat in the Hat, with more than 775,000 cards counted by Friday afternoon.
Nevada legislators even took time to acknowledge the day, as Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, adorned in a red-and-white-striped hat, read "I Can Read With My Eyes Closed" during Friday's session.
Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, introduced Anderson with a seussian-style poem she wrote about him. Anderson is a past director of the Nevada National Education Association.
But at Fremont, the focus was on the next answer in the Dr. Seuss memory game.
Allison asked the class which answer the wanted.
"I don't know," chirped one student.
"Why don't we just write it down," said another.
After a brief discussion, the group agreed on "tree."
The correct answer turned out to be "mouse."
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.