Here’s something most people don’t know about me: I grew up a lonely kid. My parents moved a lot, I wasn’t into sports, and I wasn’t popular. Books were my best friend growing up. I learned that books can transport you anywhere in the world or even anywhere in the universe in an instant! I especially loved Dr. Seuss stories growing up – the vibrant colors, wacky yet memorable characters, and the sense of whimsey: more than anything else, Dr. Seuss books were FUN for me. Not only that, but as I got older, I discovered hidden treasures in those books…more on that in a moment.
“A Cat And A Hat” is an elementary-level school assembly program centered around the wacky characters and plots of many Dr. Seuss books. I’ve filled this program with goofy, colorful magic props (many of them custom-designed and built JUST for this show) and beautiful Seussical banners and a backdrop that generates a reaction of, “Oh, COOL!” as soon as the kids see the set design. It’s a true interactive, hilarious theatrical experience that will have your students laughing, clapping, and cheering!
Your students will help hatch the egg from “Horton Hatches the Egg,” help create stretchy green Oobleck from “Bartholomew And the Oobleck,” laugh like crazy as a Cat in The Hat bookmark takes on a life of it’s own, a drawing of the Cat In The Hat comes to life and talks to the kids, and so much more.
Those are the highlights from the primary grade level (typically grades K-2) version of the show. However, I’ve painstakingly created a version of “A Cat And a Hat” specifically for upper grades (usually grades 3-5): yup, you read that right – that includes 5th graders! – for a Dr. Seuss-themed reading assembly! Most PTA/PTO parents, principals, and media specialists can’t believe you can capture the attention of 5th graders with a Seussical-themed school assembly, but I do it in dozens of schools each year during Read Across America Month! (I’ll let you in on a secret: on occasion, a K-6 school wants the Seussical assembly and even 6th graders enjoy it!)
Here are some upper grade highlights: The entire audience witnesses teachers’ and fellow students’ heads ‘shrinking’ as they become the size of a Who in an optical illusion that illustrates the concepts behind “Horton Hears A Who”; I borrow a student’s shoe to demonstrate how to create Oobleck…with hilarious, disgusting results; I try to use a ‘Stars-On / Stars-Off Machine’ with a hysterical plot twist to illustrate the lesson from “The Sneeches and Other Stories,” and much more!
Now…remember those ‘hidden treasures’ I mentioned? They are the wonderful character-building messages woven throughout a lot of Dr. Seuss’ books. Throughout all of the craziness of the “A Cat And A Hat” school assembly program, I reinforce those wonderful messages, too, meaning this reading-themed assembly can also double as a character education assembly program!
Key Learning Points:
Bring this one-of-a-kind assembly program to YOUR school! Call me at (716) 940-8963 (that’s my cell phone) or fill out the Contact Form on this page to get more information!
“Thank you SO much for today! Both shows were GREAT! Teachers were coming up to me after the show to tell me how good it was and how much they loved it! I even heard that it was the best that they had ever seen! I know that it is definitely my favorite! I know that out kids here at Hillside LOVED it!”
Lisa Bowe, School Counselor
Hillside Elementary School
“As a new teacher I was very impressed with how Chris was able to maintain the attention of all grade levels for the entire 45 minutes. I loved how he tied in reading and the growth mindset as well as magic tricks. I would enjoy seeing some of his other performances, and I hope we can have him back in the future.”
Melinda Nichols, Literacy Specialist
Prospect Elementary School
“Cris Johnson presented a wonderful Dr. Seuss-themed magic show for our 425 Pre K-kindergarten and 1st grade students at Jackson Primary School. Not only were the all of the students laughing , mesmerized, and completely engaged but Cris’s overall presentation included great messages for our children reflecting from the life lessons that are touched upon in many of Dr. Seuss’s books. The students were saying, ‘I loved that guy!’ His ability to intertwine these important concepts while emphasizing reading in a humorous and a magical fashion made for an incredible assembly to help kick off our PARP reading program this year.”
– Diane Bonarigo, Principal
Jackson Primary School
Batavia, New York
“Cris was fabulous! He had the students glued to him the entire time and even had the adults laughing. The students completely understood the important message and went home telling their parents…”
Alexandra Wahlert, Teacher
Andrew Muller Primary School
Miller Place, NY
“WOW! You did a great job engaging the students with the magic tricks which were related to the Dr. Seuss theme. The crowd interaction and participation was also very well done. Thank you for accommodating our three sessions! It really helped the kids stay focused!
The kids loved the last act where you stare at the spinning wheel and the person’s head expands/shrinks, pulling out the huge wand, when the table floated, when the eyes moved on the Cat in the Hat drawing on the whiteboard, and in particular all of the magic wands you had. They thought it was so funny to see so many!
Here are a few comments from our teachers: ‘I loved the way he had the students leave quietly,’ ‘Loved it! So kid-friendly! Students were so engaged and excellent listeners! So many references to so many Dr. Seuss books! The students kept talking about it, when we got back to the classroom! They loved it.’”
Susan Myers, PTO
“Hi Cris. Thank YOU very much for an amazing assembly!! I had so many wonderful comments that I lost count of everyone who came up to me and told me how engaging the assemblies were and great for everyone!”
Kelly Hodapp, Teacher
South River Primary School
South River, NJ
“As a teacher of over 26 years, I can honestly say that Cris is the best school performer I have seen! He was engaging the entire 45 minutes. He kept our students wanting more. They were sad to see the show end. I highly recommend him. I love the way he tied in reading and having a growth mindset.”
Barbara Shurilla, Literacy Specialist
Prospect Elementary School
“Parents, children and teachers are always excited when they know Cris Johnson is performing one of his shows at the Warren Public Library. Cris keeps the children engaged from the minute he starts. Children laugh, point, shout out responses and enthusiastically raise their hands when Cris seeks assistance. Numerous children were grinning and saying to their friends, “That was awesome!” as they exited the room after Cris’ A Cat and A Hat program. The mother of a young child happily mentioned that this was the first time her little boy actually participated rather than being shyly observant. We can’t wait to see his Spaced Out Magic Show this summer!”
Susan Slater, Children’s Librarian
Warren Public Library
“Cris, Thank you for an AWESOME show on Tuesday! The kids and teachers absolutely loved your program! It was engaging and fun with great messages. You were easy to work with, too. Your supplemental materials and excellent communication were most appreciated. We will definitely keep you in mind for future performances at Whitehall Elementary!”
Stephanie Esek, PTO President
Whitehall Elementary School
West Mifflin, PA
“Hi Cris, thank you so much for taking the time to join us last week. Your kick off for our reading program this year was spot on and got the students and staff so excited. You are a natural and have a gift which you are so appropriately utilizing. I will definitely call upon you to return and look forward to working with you in the future.”
Sonja DuBois, Principal
Bemus Point Elementary School
Bemus Point, NY
“Hi Cris, Your “A Cat And A Hat” program was engaging, exciting and entertaining! Our students loved the magic tricks throughout the program so much that they didn’t even realize they were learning an important message. Reading is powerful! We look forward to experiencing another program in the future.”
Diane Cundari, Literacy Coach
Palisades Park School District
Palisades Park, NJ