Informaiton provided on this page is for classroom use only; not for publication. 2003



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Big Book:  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. 

Class 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 your class. 

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.

Vocabulary:  Create 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.

red bird brown bear yellow duck white dog blue horse
green frog purple cat black sheep goldfish teacher
children red yellow white blue
green purple black bird bear
duck dog frog cat sheep

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 for The Teacher's Bookbag

Flannelboard:  You 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.


Pocketchart Activity:  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 = green frog


Another Pocketchart Activity:  I also wrote the following sentences on sentence strips ...

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?

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 format. 

____ (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  Big Book.


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.


Sequencing:  Provide 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 students. 

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 :) ).


What's Missing?:  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.


Categorizing:  Have students categorize each animal in the book into 3 categories:


No legs

2 legs

4 legs





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.


Storybook Walk:  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?


Sorting/Graphing:  Have students bring their own bears to school, then sort/graph them by color.


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.


Character Graph:  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.


Choral Reading:  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 the book:

brown - chocolate pudding, Hersey Kiss, cookie

red - strawberry, cherry, Red Hot

yellow - cheese

blue - blueberry

green - grape

white - milk, crustless bread, frosting, cream cheese, sour cream, grits

black - Oreo, black olive, jelly bean

purple - grape juice, jelly bean


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.


Estimation:  Provide 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 estimation. 


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 Bear page.


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 stampers.


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 @ The 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 here.) 



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 graph.


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 character."


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 Learning!



Beginning Sounds: 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 well! :)






Seven Blind Mice (about colors)




Literature Library, Vol. 4 K-1 (FS-1004)

Whole Language Units for Predictable Books (Teacher Created Materials, 1995)





Bears @ The Virtual Vine


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


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


Brown Bear - Kinder Art Littles, Preschool Activities and Lessons


Going On a Bear Hunt (webquest K)


Lesson Exchange: Brown Bear, Brown Bear


Family Storyteller Books and Activities


Brown Bear and Beyond With PreK


Brown Bear, Brown Bear part one


Brown Bear


Bear Facts


TeacherSource - Math. Here, There, and Everywhere Lesson Plan


Literacy Matters


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? learning video


Bear Misc.


Bear Games


A-Book-A-Week: Classroom Instruction


Teachers Page




Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Can You Read? (1st-2nd)


Bear Links & Activities


Brown Bear Story Patterns


Brown Bear book printable





Graphics by Me! :)

Pics from DLTK







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