During the month of February, our Kinders get to bring their teddy bears to school and they just love this time! Our reading, writing and math activities stem from the books we read about fiction and non-fiction bears. Check out some of the things we do!
We paint our teddy bears and dress them up using construction paper, tissue, foil and whatever else we have in our room. Using punched bears, we make a pattern to frame our paintings.
We read the various versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Then students make their own puppet show books. We practice retelling the story using these books and role play the story with real spoons, bowls, chairs and towels (as beds).
Every Friday, students take home a Book of the Week to add to their home library. Students make these books during the week and we practice them each day so by the time they take them home, they can fluently read them. Three Bears, Three Sizes was one of these books.
Here is another one of our Books of the Week, Going on a Bear Hunt! Students used yarn for the grass, sponge painted the mud, drew the lake, and used construction paper for the tree, cave and house.
During this unit we model writing stories, describing bears, writing letters and making lists. During Work on Writing (Daily 5) students choose their favorite paper and write about their teddy bears and real bears! They love to share their writing with a buddy.
After spending a few weeks on bear fiction stories we then begin to research real bears. We leave out a bunch of non-fiction books for students to look through. They then find a fact to illustrate from a book and we dictate their fact on their illustration.
We then create bear expert groups–The Polar Bear Group, The Grizzly Bear Group & The Black Bear Group. Each group researches facts about their special bear and I act as the scribe. I write their facts on post-its and put it on their expert bear chart. Each group gets their own bear to label and make. We use yarn for the black bears, shredded wheat for the grizzly bears and coconut for the polar bears.
The kiddos then choose their favorite bear fact to type and illustrate. We then blowup their typed fact on 11 by 17 paper and each expert group shares their poster with the class during our Bear Show for our families.
We incorporate bears into our math during this unit. The students use scenery mats to add and subtract. I found these great mats from Kindergarten Crayons, and laminated them so they could write the equations right on the mats. Once students have plenty of practice with the mats, they draw their own scenery and create an addition equation using the brown punched bears.
We culminate this unit with our Teddy Bear Tea and Show. We perform fiction and non-fiction songs and poems for our families and share our bear posters. After our performance we eat “bear” foods with our families and share some of the books we made. Then it is time for our teddy bears to go home.