Here are a few activities that incorporate my stories that you may be able to use with your students. They're not anything you haven't thought of, but I hope to save you some time in preparing a few lesson plans. I’ve gathered fun activities to accompany your teaching and help the stories come alive for the students. At the end of some activities is a suggestion for incorporating it into snack time. If you come up with ideas that other teachers could use and would like to share, please email me using the contact information in the footer.
If you think about it the whole book Bear Snores On is an impromptu potluck! I love potlucks so maybe that was a subconscious theme. For a fun activity have an “imaginary” potluck. Give each child a paper plate and pass around some food magazines. Let each child cut out the foods they would bring to a “potluck” and glue it to the plate. Select a spot in the classroom for the “potluck” party and have the children come with their dishes and put them on the table. Then let the pretending begin! For Bear Wants More you can do the same basic activity but make it a planned surprise party instead.
- Bear Masks
Download this printout to use as a template for bear masks.
- Bear Paper Bag Puppets
Go here to find instructions on making Bear puppets with paper bags. Have the children act out the book while you read it.
- Bear Coloring Sheet
Download this printout for a connect-the-dots coloring sheet.
- Bear Seasons
Here is a fun learning activity where students can draw different items for each seaon.
Snack Time with Bear
Bear Party Food: For Bear Wants More pass out small bags of popcorn, honey nut cheerios, and apple cider pretend "black tea". Add strawberries, animal shaped cookies, goldfish snack crackers and top it all off with honey buns (Little Debbie makes an inexpensive variety).
BEAR FEELS SICK
In Bear Feels Sick, Bear’s woodland friends all care for Bear while he is feeling “under the weather”. The book provides a wonderful opportunity to teach children about caring for others and not passing on virus's. Choose one student to be a “patient”. Have them act out being sick and let the other children do things that help their friend feel better while washing their hands after caring for their friend and cleaning surfaces. There are a lot of examples of care giving in Bear Feels Sick, but encourage the children to think of new ideas about caring for others. Perhaps the student’s own families have traditions and routines they follow when there is an ill family member.
- Get Well Cards
For a fun craft have the students make a Get Well card for Bear (or perhaps an absent student or teacher who is actually away sick).
- Hygiene Fun with Glitter
And while it may not be so “fun” take this opportunity to remind children that washing their hands before eating and after using the restroom is the #1 way to prevent getting sick. In fact, here’s a little list of when we should all wash our hands:
- upon rising in the morning
- before, during, and after food preparatio
- before eating
- after using the bathroom
- after touching animals or their waste
- after playing outside
- after being around someone who is sic
- after coughing or blowing our noses
- before brushing our teeth
- before going to bed each night
And hey, even hand washing lessons can be a fun. Get that glitter out! Yes, I can hear you groaning now, “Glitter!?” But this time the mess is worth the lesson. Sprinkle some fine glitter on one student’s hand and explain that the glitter represents germs. Have that child shake hands with another child, and then have that child shake hands with another child (you get the idea). Eventually every child in the class should shakes hands. There will probably be at least a little glitter on every child’s hands. It’s an excellent way to help children understand the how easily germs spread and the importance of good hygiene!
Snack Time When Bear is Well Again
Bear in his Cave: On a small paper plate take two graham crackers and lean together like a house of cards. Secure with peanut butter. Place a gummy bear inside of the cracker "cave"
GIFT GIVING WITH BEAR
Bear Stays Up for Christmas is all about giving. It’s the perfect book to pair with your school gift exchange party. In this christmas book, Bear’s tree is decorated with quaint handmade decorations. Good crafts for this book are the old “paper chain” Christmas garland, stringing popcorn, putting cloves in apples or oranges, etc….
Paper Quilt Craft One of Bear’s very special Christmas presents is an adorable quilt. Make a cooperative classroom “paper quilt”.
Supplies: construction paper, markers, stapler, scissors, crepe/tissue paper
- Instructions for the Paper Quilt Craft:
- Give the children each a sheet of construction paper in varied colors. Have them draw a scene from Bear Stays Up for Christmas on the paper. Smaller sheets of paper may be used if there are many pictures. Be sure to draw borders around the sheets of paper so children don’t get too close to the edge. This leaves room for stapling.
- When the pictures are done, arrange them in the order you want them to appear on the quilt.
- With the right sides together (the picture side) staple the first two pictures together in the first horizontal row. Open them and fold back.
- Keep doing this until all the rows are stapled together.
- Staple each row together until all the rows are done. Teachers may need to draw a few pictures if there aren’t an even amount of drawings, or you can just add some blank squares.
- Add a colorful border of tissue or crepe paper. Cut it with fancy edge scissors for a fun touch.
- Hang up the quilt for a fun Christmas classroom decoration.
You should never EVER shout in a zoo, because if you do, anything might happen! And in this book just about anything does. When a young girl shouts in a zoo she scares a bear who charges out of his pen and sets off a series of catasrophic events! Similar in style to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie this book will keep kids (and adults) giggling.
- What If?
Brainstorm with students to come up with other "what if scenerios" (what if you ran in school, jumped in a restaurant, danced on a bus, etc...). Have them write their own cause and effect stories.
- Behind Bars
In Never Ever Shout in a Zoo the main character ends up locked up in the zoo herself! Have the children paint a portrait of themselves, then use strips of black construction paper to glue cage bars over the top of the portrait. They could title their portraits "The Day the Animals Locked ME Up!"
- Swinging Monkey
This was a favorite for my kids in second grade and I HIGHLY suggest it! The San Diego Zoo has the directions all ready for you. A fun activity and they actually make a toy! Suggest that they give the toy as a gift to a smaller sibling or friend.
Snack Time at the Zoo
Caged Creature Crackers: Frost a graham cracker with plain frosting. Press on animal crakers. Press on stripes of thin black licorice for the cage bars.
Zoolicious Trail Mix: Mix together animal crackers, granola, banana chips, coconut, peanuts and raisans.
It's a counting book. No, it's a cumulative rhyming tale. No, it's a counting book....wait--it's BOTH. A small, green frog sits in a bog and eats bug after bug. From one tiny tick to five slimy snails he gulps them all down. And with each slithering helping, "The frog gets a little bit bigger!" But is that log really a log after all? Frog is in for a big surprise, and he might not be able to keep his supper down! The illustrations are amazingly descriptive and colorful. What's grosser than gross? This book. But c'mon. Kids love gross!
- Frog Pouch
Visit dltk-kids.com to make an adorable frog pouch. Coming soon: a printable sheet and to have children cut out bug sections to count and put in the pouch as you read Frog in the Bog. If you want the craft more personalized to Frog in the Bog, make a hat from construction paper to glue on the frog.
- Frog Masks
Make a frog mask! Make the masks for craft and use them while reading Frog in the Bog and other fun frog books.
- Frog Paper Bag Puppets
Go here to find instructions on making frog puppets with paper bags. Have the children act out the book while you read it.
Gulp Time with Frog
Frogs on a log: Spread peanut butter on a celery stick for the log. Have the kids put green raisins or green grapes on the log to represent the frogs or use gummy frogs if you can find them.
Bug Bog Jello: Make blue jello with gummy worms, green and brown raisins and craisins for bugs in the bog.
HIPPO HILDA ACTIVIES
The earth is quaking, the jungle floor is shaking! What's going on? Oh no--Hilda must be dancing! And when hippos dance all sorts of castastrophes can hapen. Her friends wish she would take up a less destructive hobby. Hilda tries new activities but nothing is as fun as dancing! Will Hilda be able to pursue her dreams and keep her friends? Vibrant, funny illustrations and boisterous rhyme make this a memorable read aloud.
- Hobby Time
Explain to the children what a hobby is (examples might include kite flying, stamp collecting, cooking, sewing, ect...). Have the children decide which hobby they would like to try most then have them draw a picture of themselves doing their chosen hobby. Help them write a simple one page story to to go with the picture.
Check out this fun template for paper plate maracas. Make the maracas and have the children dance like Hilda with their maracas.
- Hippo Dress Up
Here's a simple hippo template. Have the children draw or cut out new "favorite" outfits for Hilda to wear.
Snack Time with Hilda
Monkey Dogs: Ingredients: Bananas, Peanut butter, Hot dog buns, Plastic knives.
Directions: Have children prepare a Monkey Dog by cutting a banana in half, spreading peanut butter on a hotdog bun that has been cut in half and then placing the banana inside (just like a hotdog). This is how little mischeivous monkeys eat "hot dogs"!
Jumpin' Jungle Juice: Mix 1 large bottle of V-8 Splash with 2 litre bottle Soda Water. Add sliced bananas and ice.
Safari Sandwiches: Get out those cookie cutters and use the fun animal shapes. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or use sliced bananas for more jungle fun). Cut out sandwiches into fun jungle animal shapes. Serve with a side of animal crackers to kick up a little lunch time safari.
MOOSE TRACKS CRAFTS
- Make Moose Tracks!
Here is a fun printout for the kids. On this sheet are moose tracks (one approximately the size of an actual moose track) to cut out and place in crafts and drawings. One idea? Have the kids draw a scene from my book Moose Tracks, then cut out tracks from the printout and paste them scattered through their picture. Or they could cut out the big track, paste it on construction paper, and color it with their favorite scene from Moose Tracks. Then they could paste the little moose tracks around it as a border. Scan one or two of your best examples and send them to me. They may be featured on my website!
- Silly Moose Headband!
Materials: Heavy brown/tan cardstock paper; glue.
Directions: Cut bands big enough to go around each child’s head. Help children size their bands to fit their heads and glue them into a circular headband. Then have the kids trace their own hands on the brown card stock. Make sure to trace a ways down the wrist (you want to leave room to glue the antlers to the band). Cut out the hand prints, glue them to the band—and WALA—each child can now be a silly moose too!
- Dance the Moosey-Goosey
The Moose in Moose Tracks definitely has an idea for an excellent activity. You may recall that Moose likes to dance the hokey pokey with his best friend Goose? Well, how about the Moosey—Goosey? Okay, so it’s just the Hokey Pokey renamed, but it’s still fun and it still helps kids learn their left from their right. Change the lyrics of the old standby song Hokey Pokey to a more “moose friendly” version. “You put your left hoof in, you put your left hoof out, you put your left hoof in and you shake it all about. You do the Moosey-Goosey and you turn yourself around. That’s what’s it’s all about!” And instead of “head”, say “put your antlers in”. You get the idea. The kids will definitely catch on.
Snack Time With Moosey
Mmmm…there are so many delicious moosey things to munch. WARNING: Some of these ideas are at best an “occasional treat”. But they must be included because, well, they’re downright delectable!
Moose Tracks Ice Cream: It’s right there in most grocery store frozen treats section, and if you haven’t tried it, consider yourself deprived. I was actually eating Moose Tracks ice cream when I thought of my book Moose Tracks So the bigger dress size ended up being totally worth it!
Moose Munch by Harry and David’s: Moose munch is a scrumptious, not-so-nutritious, chocolatey, popcorn, candy treat and it’s now sold at Target Stores. It is so delicious you won’t want to let the kids eat it, but give them a little bit. But pick out the chocolate chunks for yourself.
Okay, that’s the end of my horrifically unhealthy snack ideas. Here’s a healthier alternative:
Moose Antler Sandwiches: Make peanut butter sandwiches (or soy butter if you have a no-peanut school). Cut them with a holly leaf shape cookie cutter. Arrange two leaf shapes sideways and touching in a moose antler configuration. Serve with a side of moose antlers (pretzels) and moose droppings (raisins or even better, prunes—great for the “ew” factor).
Moose Juice: Serve your favorite 100% fruit punch and call it Moose Juice because Moose Juice is a far sillier name than fruit punch.