Beacon Lesson Plan Library

It's Oobleck

Alicia Floyd
Santa Rosa District Schools


After listening to the story [Bartholomew and the Oobleck], students will be able to list information that they learn about Oobleck and use context clues to construct a meaning for Oobleck.


The student uses a variety of context cues (for example, illustrations, diagrams, information in the story, titles and headings, sequence) to construct meaning (meaning cues).

The student listens for information and pleasure.


-[Bartholomew and the Oobleck] by Dr. Seuss, Random House, New York, 1977,ISBN: 0-394-80075-3, 0394900758
-One box corn starch
-Water (equal part to corn starch)
-Green food coloring
-Fragrance (anise, smells like licorice; peppermint; or lemon)
-Writing paper for each student
-Pencils for each student


1. Prepare the oobleck by mixing one part water to one part cornstarch. Add 10 to 15 drops of green food coloring and 1 2 teaspoons of anise. (I found it easier to mix the water, food coloring, and fragrance first before mixing with the cornstarch.) Keep the oobleck in a covered bowl or zip-lock bag, or the smell will give it away.
2. Get a copy of the book.


1. Begin the lesson with a review of good listening skilss and then of the four types of precipitation: hail, rain, snow, and sleet.

2. Elicit discussion about the four types of precipitation and ask if someone might get bored with the weather. Show the book . Explain that the main character in this book, King Derwin, does exactly that and wants something else. Tell students to listen for what King Derwin requests. Let them know that they will be asked to list information they learn about oobleck and write a definition after the story. Review context clues that can be used--pictures, repetition, etc.

3. Read aloud [Bartholomew and the Oobleck].

4. Pass out writing paper and allow time for students to list information they learned about Oobleck.

5. List several responses on the board.

6. Using the information gathered, have students write the meaning of oobleck.

7. Conclude the lesson by dividing students into small groups and giving each one a small handful of Oobleck to experience. You will definitely need to allow extra time for the students to play with it.


1. Formatively assess the list of information written by the student to determine if the student has listened and gathered information from the story.
2. Assessment of the written definition will determine if student has used context clues to construct the meaning of oobleck. This will also assess the Goal 3 Standard.


E if 6 or more different pieces of information are listed with an acceptable definition of oobleck
S if 3 to 5 pieces of information are listed with a reasonable definition of oobleck
N if 2 pieces of information are listed with an unacceptable/vague definition of oobleck
U if only 1 piece of information is given with an unacceptable definition


As an extension to this lesson, use the oobleck to discuss solids and liquids. Several lesson plans associated with this standard can be found on the Internet by using a search engine and typing in the word oobleck.
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