Name/Title: Yertle the Turtle

Purpose of Event: To teach students to work together.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed:

12-15 cups stacks for each student group
One cone for each student group
The book Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Suess

Description of Idea

This idea is great to use during Dr. Suess week.

Using the circle in the middle of a basketball court or playing area, set one cup for each team (helps if each team has their own color). Place their remaining cups 15-20 feet away next to a cone. Have students pick a partner, and go stand behind their cone. Teacher is in the middle of the circle, with the book Yertle the Turtle.

Assign the first student in each line the word Yertle, and the second student in line the word Turtle. Each time you say that word while reading the book to the kids, they will pick up a cup, run to the middle to their color of cup, and start creating a tower (just like in the book where Yertle is creating a tower of turtles), by stacking the cups on top of each other. If the cups fall down, they just pick up whatever fell, and return it to their stack by their cone.

At the end of the book, have students count how many cups they each have in their stack. Then students can switch up which word they come to the middle with, so they get a chance to be both parts.


Have students use encouraging words and actions with their partner while building their towers.

At the end of class ask students to share examples of how they encouraged their teammates.

Submitted by Sarah Harvey who teaches at Conestoga in Murray, NE. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/22/2017.
Visit S&S Discount for all your physical education equipment and supplies!