We’re Going on A Bear Hunt :: Preschool & 1st Grade Activities

Our second row in this year’s seasonal Five in A Row plan was the wonderfully rhythmic book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

We’ve already completed another book with a bear theme;  I think the boys believe bears is the focus for the whole school year.  Ha!

Yet, it was a wonderful read — I enjoyed planning our activities.  Our boys are currently 37 months and 6.5 years old, and we rowed this book over two weeks.

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We talked of the concepts over, under and through since these directional cues are a major focus within the story.  Then we acted them out using our play tunnel.

boys + outdoors + play tunnel = FUN!

Using full color pictures from these Bear Hunt lapbook printables, we placed each setting in order as the family faced them in the story.  For preschool, I read the story and he chose which picture to place next.  Then we matched ours to the illustrations as seen above.

For 1st grade, I talked about ordinal numbers…first, second, third, etc….and also introduced transitional words:  ”First they…, then the family…, after this it was…finally they…etc.”  I also asked if he could put the picture settings in order without looking back at the book — he could!

We have a set of seasonal sequencing cards that’s been around for ages.  I tried to find some on Amazon, but the search led to the movie Braveheart.  Hmmm….not sure of the connection there!  Sorry I can’t offer a resource.

I had my 1st grader orally narrate to me what was happening in the story using transitional words.  Also, we made up what could have happened after the 3rd picture and came up with some unique and funny stories!

For math, there was plenty of patterning happening….(worksheet from Homeschool Share)

I introduced Venn diagramming for 1st grade.  We had tried this last year, but he wasn’t catching on (or interested in catching on)…but this round was successful and enjoyable.  Our counting bears are also old, now there are ones with different colors, sizes and weights!

Printable Venn diagram link.

This Big Book on bears was first purchased when my oldest was homeschooling 2nd grade…she’s now out of high school!

For science we took a look at three different bears — grizzly (which we believe was in the story), panda and polar bears.

We talked habitats, a bit on hibernation and about how the polar bear is the largest bear in the world!  My 3-year old (I’m not really sure he understood this) just kept saying “WHOA!  WHOA!”  over and over.  Sweet.:)

We revisited our time and memories around our Polar Babbabox activities from this summer.

Our favorite activity for sensory and messy play (important to the boys!) was setting up a sequence of events from the story and acting them out, first using the doll house family and then fingers and hands.

Instead of Mom reading the story aloud again, we listened to the authora delightful telling on youtube!  The boys, now very familiar with the story, sing-songed with Mr. Rosen as they moved along our setup.  Bear Hunt, like Blueberries for Sal, has great onomatopoeias…my 6-yr old loved these!

Here’s our setup for the story:

grass:  from outdoors –  river: water with dab of blue food coloring – mud: aloe vera gel with bit of cocoa powder (could use real chocolate pudding)

forest:  trees from our play sets – snowstorm:  crushed ice – cave:  built out of blocks with brown felt over the top

I used finger paint paper underneath since it’s a little slippery and would make the ‘mud’ more fun!

All tucked back into bed just like the end of the book!

Lastly, I whipped up a vegan chocolate pudding since both boys are allergic to dairy…um, it wasn’t a big hit with one of the boys (or both of the girls).  One kiddo out of four isn’t enough to repeat.  Oh well, worth the try!

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That’s all for bears, and for August’s Five in a Row book plan.  You can find several resources for planning FIAR on my page chockfull of info.

For September, we’re rowing The Red Carpet and Caps for Sale — naturally, I have way too many ideas in mind and will need to pare down.  I welcome you to come back and see what we’ve done!

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This post linked up with Preschool Corner, Big Family Friday, Collage Friday and Weekly Wrap-Up

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11 comments

We eat the same pudding regularly, but we use just a banana and an avocado with cocoa powder. Make sure the banana is very ripe.

oh, thank you — that is a great idea to add in the banana! :)

This is just so wonderful that I had to comment and send a high five to you!! I have home schooled for 23 years and I am doing 1st grade with my youngest..and this just inspired me so much…thanks for sharing…great job!!!

Thank you Janette – I appreciate the thumbs up from a veteran homeschooler!

Danielle — what fun!!! I miss that time when my children were little like this. The WONDER of learning is such an amazing thing.

Going on a Bear Hunt was one of our favorite stories. I always did this song and acted it out when I taught school, too – it was a great one for sequencing.

I love the animal crackers in the pudding!!

Thanks for linking with Collage Friday!

We just did Going On A Bear Hunt this week too, but not using FIAR. I love your hands-on ideas for it. We just did the actions as we said the rhyme.

I love these ideas! My two year old LOVES this story and we are getting ready to do a unit on it too. I just pinned your sensory ideas *LOVE*

LOVE the setup on the counter for the kids to walk through the book with what you had!! :)

[...] rowing in August about bears, it was good to switch gears in September with a simpler row of The Red Carpet by Rex Parkin. [...]

[…] such as Blueberries for Sal, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, and don’t forget We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  We plan to continue with FIAR this […]

[…] boys added white and brown felt pieces to create the scene (the brown was also used in our Going on a Bear Hunt unit last year)  and then stretched out cotton balls for […]

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