Introduce this book unit using the Big Book. Point to the
words as you read. After one or two readings, encourage
students to read along with you, especially the parts that are
repeated throughout the book. Some of the students will want
to "read along" almost from the moment you start reading, especially
if they're familiar with the book. I always ask that the
students not read along during the first reading so that those who
haven't heard the book before will be able to hear the text clearly.
I don't have the Brown Bear Big
Book. (And it's very expensive ... $52 from Harcourt School
Publisher) Soooo, I'm creating my own Big Book to use until I
can get a purchase order into the school and purchase the book.
I'm printing out the text and gluing it along with the colored pictures that I
printed out onto cardstock from
DLTK onto white posterboard that's been folded in half.
I'm also going to add the text to the pages just like I did in the
emergent reader so that the student doesn't have to guess or
memorize what picture comes next. The text will be cued by the
picture. Then I'm going to have the whole thing laminated
before I put it together. (Don't forget to make smaller
pictures for the last page like I did.) I was going to staple
the pages together or tie them together with yarn. The latter,
I know, works well for posterboard Big Books. But Carol shared
a new way to bind books with me via email, and I've practiced it, so
I'm going to try binding it that way. It works well on index
cards (what I practiced on), I just don't know how well it's going
to work for folded posterboard. If it works, I'll add pictures
of the Big Book here along with her instructions.
Update: Here are the
pictures of the Big Book, and Carol's way of binding worked great
even on the folded posterboard pages. I like the book so much,
I may not even get the real one. :) It works great. The
space that you see between the bottom two pages is where the tape's
at. However, it is not sticky there. It just gives you
room to turn the pages better.
I knew this was going to happen!
Now it's time to put Carol's directions for binding the book online
and I can't find them anywhere! Of course, I put them
somewhere on the computer so that I'd know where they were and not
lose them. Uggh! :) Ok, so I'll have to write out
the directions myself. I can do this.
First, lay the last page of your
book on the table, the back of the book facing down. Take a
long strip of clear packing tape and tape half over the side of the
page where you want to bind (the left side on the book above) and
the other half will be stuck to the table. Press the tape down
on the book, but not on the table (you're just going to have to pull
it off the table later anyway). Next, lay your next to the
last page on top of that page and repeat the process, making sure to
keep all the pages straight and even. (You may need a helper,
I did) Keep doing this until the last page is your cover.
Then gently pull the layered tape and book pages from the table and
stretch the tape that's sticking out on the left side towards the
back of the book creating your binding.
Big Book: Print out the black and white pictures from DLTK and
have students paint or color them to make an additional Big Book for
Pointer: I have a yellow
duck flyswatter that I bought at the dollar store that I'll use as
my pointer for this unit. You can see a picture of it on the
Literacy Connections page.
word cards with the accompanying pictures for a portable Thematic
Word Wall. Once you've made the cards, display them in a
pocketchart. Students can use them to match text, match words
to pictures, and for use in their writing.
Emergent Reader: I also
created an emergent reader for this book using the DLTK graphics.
I changed the formatting somewhat from the
original Brown Bear book. Instead of having the text where the
reader had to memorize what was on the next page, I moved the text
to where it was on the same page as the picture so that the reader
could use the picture cues to support the text. I used the
same techniques in creating this reader as I do when I create books
The Teacher's Bookbag.
can also use the pictures from DLTK to create flannelboard
characters for retelling the story. Copy them onto cardstock,
laminate, and hot glue small pieces of rough sandpaper or velcro to
the backs so they'll stick to your flannelboard.
Brown Bear Mascot:
Purchase an inexpensive brown bear and use him to increase
appropriate school behavior. He can sit at the table of a
student or students who are exhibiting appropriate behavior.
Reading Buddy: You
can also place a stuffed brown bear in your Reading Center.
Students can then sit and read to Brown Bear. This may help to
increase their retelling/reading of stories as they'll be reading
out loud so that he can hear them. :)
Stick Puppets: Do
the same thing as above, but instead of adding sandpaper or velcro
to the back, hot glue a craft stick there instead. Now your
students have stick puppets to use in the Puppet Center or to put
into their Book Box.
I reduced pictures of the characters in the book onto cardstock and
colored them. Then I made matching color word cards.
They match the color word to the appropriate card. Ex. green =
Another Pocketchart Activity:
I also wrote the following sentences on sentence strips ...
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do
I see a red bird.
I see a yellow duck.
I see a green frog.
Then I made color cards.
Each color card has a color on it. The student will match the
color to the color word in each sentence. Eww... I hope I
didn't capitalize the word "brown" in the first sentence. That
always throws my earliest readers off.
Class Book: Of
course you can have your class rewrite the book using the same
____ (student's name),
____ (student's name), who do you see? I see _____ (another
student's name) looking at me. You can either have them draw
their own pictures for the pages or use digital or scanned photos of
the students on the appropriate pages.
Brown Bear Introduction to
Staff: Use the story format to introduce students to
school staff. An example would be:
Mrs. ______, Mrs. ______, who do
you see? I think Mrs. ______ is looking at me. Insert
the appropriate names and pictures on each page.
Class Big Book Rewrite:
Have your students rewrite the book using different animals.
Ex. Black snake, black snake, what do you see? Then find
clipart to match the animals. Enlarge the pictures to 8 1/2 by
11 and have students paint them. Use the pictures to create a
Math Pocketchart Counting
Activity: Make enough picture cards to make sets for 1 -
10 (one set would be 1 red bird, another set would have 2 green
frogs, etc.) Then place each set on a row in the pocketchart.
Students count the pictures in each set and place a matching number
card in the front of the row. You can also do this activity
vice-a-versa. You could place the number cards in the
pocketchart and have students count the correct number of pictures
onto each row to match the number.
students with picture cards of things in the book. Have them
practice sequencing them as to how they came up in the book.
For this activity we used the
book and glued pictures onto a sentence strip.
Patterns: Use small
pictures of things from the book to practice patterning with your
AB= brown bear, red bird, brown
bear, red bird
ABC= yellow duck, blue horse,
green frog, yellow duck, blue horse, green frog,
These pictures came from a
resource book which I don't have handy.
Pattern Hat: Use the same
pictures from above and have students glue them onto a sentence
strip. When they're dry, fit the sentence strip to their head
and staple it (but not to their head :) ).
Display the flannelboard characters from the book. Then have
the students put their head down. Stand in front of the
flannelboard and remove two or three of the pictures. Have
them look at the board and guess which ones are missing. You
can make the game increasingly more difficult by decreasing the
number of characters that you remove. The most difficult
activity would be to guess which ONE character is missing.
students categorize each animal in the book into 3 categories:
They can categorize them by
picture or with the words, depending on their reading ability.
You can create the table above on posterboard, a file folder, or
cardstock, depending on the size of your pictures/words. If
using pictures, you can also have the words written underneath the
picture to reinforce the written vocabulary. Laminate
everything for durability.
Using an opaque projector or overhead, enlarge each animal in the
story and have students paint them. Cut them out and stuff
with newspaper. Display in the correct sequence around the
walls of the classroom. Students can walk around the room and
retell the story as they walk.
Memory Game: Place
a picture of each book character around the edge of a circle cut
from posterboard. (Place the pictures in a random order, not
sequentially.) Laminate, then place a spinner in the middle of
the circle. Have students take turns spinning the spinner.
When the spinner points to a character, they must tell what that
character saw next in the book. If you choose, you can give
each student a point for each correct answer.
Math Problems: Use
the storybook characters to create math problems. Brown Bear
saw 2 black sheep and 1 goldfish. How many did he see in all?
Have students bring their own bears to school, then sort/graph them
Color Words: Use
highlighter tape to highlight the color words on each page.
After several rereadings, point just to the color words and ask
students to identify the words. Later remove the tape and let
students take turns identifying and rehighlighting the color words.
Drama: Print out
the colored DLTK pics onto cardstock and laminate. Add yarn to
create a necklace. Issue each student a character and have
them act out the story as you read it.
Graph each students favorite character from the book.
Color Graph: Graph
each student's favorite color from the book. To make a
pictograph, cut appropriate color crayons using die-cuts.
Students choose their favorite color and add it to a large graph.
Have students read the book together as a group and record them
reading it. Then place the tape and the book in the Listening
Center. This is a big hit with the kids! :)
Crayon Game: Have
each student get out one crayon for each color in the book (brown,
red, yellow, blue, green, purple, white, black). Flash a color
word to the group and have the students raise the appropriate crayon
to match the color word. You can tell at a glance who still
needs additional help with their color words.
Brown Bear Tasting:
Provide each student with a taste of foods matching the colors in
brown - chocolate pudding,
Hersey Kiss, cookie
red - strawberry, cherry, Red
yellow - cheese
blue - blueberry
green - grape
white - milk, crustless bread,
frosting, cream cheese, sour cream, grits
black - Oreo, black olive, jelly
purple - grape juice, jelly bean
Graphing: Graph the appropriate color jelly beans by color
"B" Sound: Create a large
brown bear on posterboard. Students cut pictures from
magazines that begin with the /b/ sound and glue them onto the bear.
"B" Sound Sort:
Create a brown bear on cardstock; laminate. Have students sort
pictures onto the bear if they begin with the /b/ sound.
Sound Sort: For
more advanced students, have them sort pictures onto pictures of the
story character if they begin with the same sound. For
example, provide them with either a picture of the bear or the bird
(/b/), the duck or the dog /d/, frog /f/, horse /h/, cat /c/,
teacher /t/, goldfish /g/ <watch out for those who'll want to call
it a "fish" ... wrong sound>, and then for really advanced students,
sheep /sh/, and children /ch/. The student will sort provided
picture cards onto the picture with the same beginning sound.
each student with a blackline shape of Brown Bear. Have them
guess how many M&Ms it would take to cover the bear. Graph
their responses. Then provide M&Ms for each student to cover
their bear. See which student came closest in their
Real or Make-Believe:
One of our benchmark objectives is for students (K or 1st, I can't
remember) identify "real" or "make-believe". Scan the pictures
from the book, laminate, and provide them along with corresponding
real animal pictures that have also been laminated. Prepare
two workmats. One with a "real" scene at the top, and the
other with a "make-believe" scene at the top. Laminate.
Have the students sort the animal pictures into "Real" and
"Make-Believe". Idea adapted from one on Mrs. Bonthuis' Brown
Take Home Bag: This
link reminded me that I have the feltboard manipulatives (that look
like the picture) to use! I'd forgotten. This person is
using them in a Take Home bag for manipulatives along with the book
for retelling the story.
Quilt: My friend
Carol helped influence me into creating this quilt. She seems
to think it's fine, but I'm not as convinced. But, for only
the second one I've ever done, it's OK. I created the pattern
for the bear and copied it onto the appropriate color construction
paper. The children cut out the pieces and I modeled for them
how to put them together on their square. They drew in the
eyes and nose. The next day, we made the "me" square.
They were given the basic head shape and completed it according to a
glyph that Carol shared with me. Then on the third day, they
wrote their name on a square with a pencil and traced it with a
Sharpie marker. Then decorated it with their choice of Bingo
When putting the quilt together,
I wanted it bright and colorful and I wanted to use the colors from
the Brown Bear book. I think I went overboard into making it a
little too involved and difficult. Oh the lessons we'll learn
..... ;) I first lay the pieces out on the floor to get an
idea of what I wanted. Then once I'd made that decision, I
transferred it to a backing of yellow bulletin board paper.
Then I taped all the squares on using lots of scotch tape.
Carol, I would dedicate this quilt to you, but I'm not sure that
would be a compliment! :) (You guys should see the PRECIOUS
quilt that she had her workshop participants create @
Learning Tree. It has monkeys and coconut trees. I
want to be like her when I grow up! :) They moved the picture of her
quilt off The Learning Tree site, so I put it
Just ran across this coloring
page on the web that looks a lot like my Brown Bear pattern.
You could use
it to create the quilt.
The rest of the body in case
you'd like that as well ...
New Quilt: I used
Brown Bear again this year as part of a Bear Unit that I'm doing
with some kindergarteners and I wanted to redesign the quilt.
So I decided that I'd have them create the Brown Bear square again
because he's so cute and that's good cutting and following
directions practice, but then have them choose and paint their
favorite character from the book as the alternate square.
And what kindergartener doesn't like to paint!?! :) So that's
what we did and I think it turned out cute!
Of course the alternate quilt
square patterns that we used for the favorite character came from
DLTK! I just downloaded and resized them to fit on a 9x9
square of white paper. My TA and I cut out and mounted them
onto the square. The small parts like feet, beak, bubbles,
etc. they colored with crayons.
(Remember ... I'm a Resource
teacher, so I don't have a big class of students!) :)
Graphing: After the
children chose their favorite characters, I created a graph so that
we could graph the favorite Brown Bear character. Once the
quilt was hung in the hallway, the children were each given their
own graph and a clipboard and went in the hallway for class.
That in itself was neat! :) There we discussed the results of
quilt by talking about how many people chose the red bird as their
favorite character, the blue horse?, the purple cat?, the goldfish?
Then we talked about getting that information onto our graph and
graphing the results. I did a model graph with them to how
them how it was done. They had been instructed to bring along
only the colors they needed, so then they colored their animals and
completed their graph independently without the aid of the model
If doing this again, I would not
include Brown Bear in the graph or allow him to be chosen as a
favorite character. The students were easily confused between
the favorite character squares and the Brown Bear squares.
They wanted to count all the Brown Bear squares as a "favorite
Hallway Display: This is
how our hallway looks at the moment for our Bear Unit. This is
all our Brown Bear stuff.
We're "Bear"y Excited About
I created these picture cards from the story and then the matching
beginning sound cards. We fudged a little and used "f" for
"fish" and "k" for "kids" instead of "children". Then I put
the pictures on my magnetic board (oil drip pan) and they matched
the sounds to the picture.
Beginning Sounds Printable:
One of the things that the teacher I work with said that the
students were having trouble with is getting the beginning sounds
that they know down on paper. So I created this matching
activity sheet(s) to help them practice that.
Beginning Sounds printable
4 Square Writing: This
idea came from a staff development that we recently attended.
I created the chart in the workshop to use with this unit.
With more advanced kids, they would write about each picture, but
with these Ks, we practiced saying a complete sentence about each
picture. It was a little rough to begin with, but they soon
got the hang of it and we did it several days as a review because
some days I'd say "Tell me a sentence with Blue Horse." and I'd get
things like "yellow duck"!!!!! :)
Baggie Book: This is
another idea from the workshop that I adapted. Instead of
having students write about the picture and insert their writing in
the bags (that's why the zippers are facing outwards), I wrote the
sentences to use this book as a "reader." For this purpose,
I'd rather turn the zippers around so the students couldn't take the
cards out of the bags.
The weird cover on it is my
fault. :) You're supposed to use a manila folder so it will be
sturdy, but I wanted it more colorful so I added the red covering on
top of that ... only it wouldn't cover the whole back. Oh
Seven Blind Mice (about colors)
Literature Library, Vol. 4 K-1
Whole Language Units for
Predictable Books (Teacher Created Materials, 1995)
Bears @ The Virtual Vine
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do
Animal Tales: Figures to Tell
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Bulletin Board - Brown Bear,
Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Brown Bear Brown Bear
First Grader, First Grader, What
Do You See?
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do
You See? Literature Theme
A to Z Kids Stuff Brown Bear,
Brown Bear - Kinder Art Littles,
Preschool Activities and Lessons
Going On a Bear Hunt (webquest
Lesson Exchange: Brown Bear,
Family Storyteller Books and
Brown Bear and Beyond With PreK
Brown Bear, Brown Bear part one
TeacherSource - Math. Here,
There, and Everywhere Lesson Plan
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do
You See? learning video
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What
Can You Read? (1st-2nd)
Bear Links & Activities
Brown Bear Story Patterns
Brown Bear book printable