We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic book that can be the basis for a fun and educational reading unit study! Here are ideas not only for reading this timeless classic aloud, but also for extending the reading into a unit study.
Reading the story- Read the story aloud once for the students to listen and view the pictures. Be sure to preview the story with the children as well, and ask them to predict what they think the story might be about. Next, teach the children the following fun motions to go alongside the story. Practice the movements and read the story one to two more times while the students act out this bear hunt. Here are the actions:
Grass in the meadow - rub hands together to create a swishing sound
Crossing the river - do a swimming stroke with your arms
Going through mud - slowly pull feet up as if stuck in mud
Going through the forest - climb a tree
While in the snowstorm - pretend to shiver and be cold
While in the cave - Use hands to pretend to feel carefully in front of you, in the dark cave
When you find the bear - pretend you are terrified, especially after feeling the fur on the bear's face
Some other fun ways to incorporate bears into your subjects are:
Science- Visit Bears of the World online and teach the children about some of the world's unique bears. Assign each child the job of going home to classify their teddy bears into types of bears, and writing down the amount of bears they have for each classification. Discuss how bears hibernate and why humans do not. Make a chart on a whiteboard to show the similarities and differences between humans and bears.
Math- Use gummy bears to teach color classification and patterns to the children. They can also use the gummy bears to add and subtract simple equation. And of course they also make great snacks!
Arts and Crafts- Challenge the children to create a drawing of their favorite bear. You can even have them create shoebox habitats for bear figures.