I found a new bear book that is perfect for back to school recently and shared it today on Instagram. Along with the book-share I quickly brainstormed ways it could be expanded upon in a day, or even a week in your classroom or homeschool.
I'd love to share them with you here on the blog too! Firstly the book is called Never Take a Bear to School by Mark Sperring and Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup.
Some features I loved:
- it's the perfect length for new kindergarteners, who love a good tale but are only new to sitting and listening at length
- it is a rhyming text, but maintains a good story structure
- it is funny
- it gently explores the feelings of being new at school
- it provides for a springboard into discussing some serious issues of school
- the end, which explains that some special things have to stay at home, gently reminds students that they have embarked on a new journey, their school life, in a new place with new expectations
Here are some of my randomly brainstormed ideas for activities and learning experiences that could follow from this reading.
- analyze the cover before reading - make predictions
- talk about how the illustrator has used color
- list the ways a bear was unsuitable for school (persuasive text)
- list the school experiences (bell rings, hanging art work, listening to a story) - make personal connections
- brainstorm the names of other animals that start with 'b'
- write some 'b' words
- talk about words that rhyme with bear
- talk about pets at school and ask students to give a short opinion on pets at school 'I think pets should be at school because...."
- make a class book and ask students to illustrate their page - Never take a ... to school
- talking/language activity - tell a partner about your pet, tell a partner about an animal you would like to bring to school
- bear finger play - language, expression, listening
Play with words
- use title structure and create a list of alternatives: Never (verb) a (noun) to/at school.
- Never ride a bike to school.
- Never bounce a ball to school.
- Never sail a boat to school.
- research the size of grizzly bears - mark it on the ground to see the area
- fill the area with objects and talk about space
- make a list of things bigger and smaller than this grizzly bear
- play counting and number games with teddy counters
- Bear Bingo
Rules and School
- talk about why we have rules
- talk about home, school and classroom rules
- talk about safety at school
- compare and contrast home and school - how are they different, similar
- discuss what we take to school
- discuss what 'belongings' are
- discuss how we care for belongings and school belongings
- talk about safely using equipment and belongings at school
- discuss what students already know about bears
- research bears - what questions do the students have
- describe the bear in the book using senses
- paw prints (on front cover) - explore print making
- talk about why the author has chosen a bear for the story character
- move like a bear
- sing 'Going on a Bear Hunt' with actions
- paint a picture of a bear
- cut and paste a craft bear
- make a 'no bears at school' poster
- create a bear from objects like Lego, blocks or recyclable materials
I hope you love this book too and can think of more wonderful ways to incorporate it into your class program.