Students of all ages enjoy Dr. Seuss stories. The title story in the collection “Yertle the Turtle” tells the tale of a know-it-all dictator turtle who refuses to listen to the members of his kingdom when they warn him of disaster. Due to his greed and selfishness, Yertle’s plan to be the tallest in the kingdom backfires terribly. I would introduce Socrates’ discussion surrounding humility before reading “Yertle the Turtle” and ask students to discuss the following: “What can happen when we assume we know everything?” After reading “Yertle the Turtle,” we would revisit the Socrates quote and uncover how Yertle could have benefited from taking Socrates’ advice.
Level: Elementary English/Language Arts
Subject Area: American Literature
Author: Tiffany Heitman