Young girl is reading Dr. Seuss' "Hop on Pop"

Story Time - The Lorax

Activity 1: Draw Your Own Truffula Tree

A group of aloe trees

Does this look like a truffula tree to you? Truffula trees came from Dr. Seuss’s imagination. They don’t really exist, but they certainly sound as beautiful as some of the plants growing at The Huntington, such as this tree aloe. Dr. Seuss wrote that truffula tree tufts were as soft as silk, their sweet fruits nourished animals, and that they smelled like “fresh butterfly milk.” Whatever that smells like, it sounds delicious! Take a look at some trees around you, in a book, or on a computer or phone. Draw your own version of a truffula tree, give it a name, and draw and name some of the imaginary animals that depend on the tree for survival.

Activity 2: Be a Lorax

The Lorax tells the Once-ler that he “speaks for the trees.” He is a protector and advocate for the truffula trees. An advocate is someone who stands up for something or someone. Think about something or a person who is really important to you and how you stand up for them. Do you stand up for a person who is being picked on? Do you have something you care about that you love to talk about with your family and friends? You are already an advocate. Write down what you advocate for and write down or draw the actions you take to continue to stand up for what you care about.

Activity 3: Seed Planting

Glass jar filled with water and seeds

The Once-ler tells the boy that “...unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Then he gives the boy a truffula seed to plant. It can be hard to know where to find a truffula seed, since truffulas don’t exist. However, some seeds may be hiding in your kitchen!

Dry beans make wonderful starter seeds. Put dry beans in a wet paper towel to make a “bean bundle.” Place your “bean bundle” in a clear glass jar or in a sealed re-sealable plastic bag. If you want to watch the beans as they sprout, choose the jar method, and pack the jar with extra dry paper towel and arrange the beans against the glass in the jar so that you can watch them germinate. Pour a little extra water directly into the jar. Put them in a sunny spot (outside or on a windowsill.)

You can also put them directly in a cup or pot with soil in a sunny spot. Plants need water to grow: you can use a spray bottle to mist your beans gently, so that the soil remains moist, but not too wet. In about five or six days, you’ll notice a green shoot coming from your beans. Congratulations, your beans have sprouted!