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Grade: Elementary
Subject: other

#210. Take your pick of "beary" fun activities

other, level: Elementary
Posted by Addie Gaines (againes@netins.net).
Seneca Elementary School, Seneca, MO USA
Materials Required: assorted
Activity Time: depends on activity
Concepts Taught: integrated unit/assorted

Here are a hodgepodge of activites to pick and choose, mix and match for a bear unit....

Books to use:
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Hairy Bear by Joy Cowley
Bears by Ruth Krauss
Polar Bear, Polar Bear by Bill Martin, Jr.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr.
Little Polar Bear by Haans De Beers

Jamberry activities:
1. Have students make up a new nonsense berry and display or make into a class book.
2. Make up a dance to the Jamberry song (on tape from Scholastic)
3. Have a jam tasting party with the four berry flavors listed in the book and Ritz crackers. Have students draw their favorite berry and make a class graph.

Hairy Bear Activities
1. Make a bear sack puppet
2. Change the beginning sound of the nonsense words and make new nonsense words.
3. This is a good book to act out and practice reading with expression.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Activities
1. this is an excellent book for innovating about any subject.
2. draw favorite character and make graph
3. do color recognition activities
4. consult encyclopedia or other factual books and learn about real brown bears.

Polar Bear, Polar Bear activities
1. Make a polar bear painting. You will need a sheet of white paper and a white bear cutout for each student. Glue the cut out to the paper with ONE drop of glue. Then sponge paint around the edge of the cut out bear to the edge of the paper. Let dry. Peel off the bear cutout and you should have a white bear shape on the page. Children can add a face with black crayon.

Little Polar Bear activities
1. Children can learn about polar bear habitat by reading this fictitious story. We talked about why polar bears are white and where they live.
2. Learn more about polar bears from other books or encyclopedias
3. Try this camoflauge activity: Use colored toothpicks and scatter them in the grass. Give the children a short time to pick up as many as they can. Graph the results. Why are there fewer green ones???

I have Bears by Ruth Krauss copied on to a chart which we read daily during our bear unit. It goes like this:
Bears, bears, bears
On the stairs
Under chairs
Washing hairs
Giving stares
Collecting fares
Stepping in squares
Bears, bears, bears

This is a good one for writing an innovation. We use it during our cat unit and write Cats, cats, cats...

Baby Bear by "Miss Jackie" Weissman
Waa! Waa! Waa!
Cried Baby Bear.
"I've got chickenpox in my hair,
On my nose and everywhere!"
Waa! Waa! Waa!
Cried Baby Bear.
(this is a song, she has a tape out with this song and many others)

I met a bear by Jean Warren (piggyback songs to sign)
(to the tune: Skip to my Lou)

I met a bear along the trail
I met a bear along the trail
I met a bear along the trail
I better step aside.

We innovate this song by making up things for the bear to do: He growled at me along the trail.... or He ran from me along the trail....
You could innovate by changing the character you meet too. I met a cat.... or I met an elephant... and think up things for them to do.

Our special bear day is called the Teddy Bear Picnic. Each child brings a teddy bear from home and we compare and order them by size. Each child makes a teddy bear headband for him/herself and for their bear. I reduced the child-sized headbands by two-thirds and they worked fine for all the bears that were brought. We use Teddy Grahams and make bear patterns and of course we eat them. The children also get to "read" to their bears during free reading time and nap with their bears during nap time.

We also had a Teddy Bear Parade with 2 of the other kindergarten classes. Over the weekend, parents and children were to work together to design a float from a shoebox to pull along as we went on our parade. Some of the floats were really cute!!! Then we lined up and paraded through our first and second grade classes. The kids were really excited about this!!!

I hope that you will be able to pick a "juicy beary" activity to try in your class!!! I hope that if you have a great bear activity or book you will "e" me with it. I love new ideas!!!