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 Bears, Teddy Bears Teaching Theme  

Introductory Activities

Tracking a Bear

Follow bear paw prints to get to a treat (bear claws, teddy grahams, etc.). We were working on a bear unit in conjunction with B week so I made a basket of bananas, blueberry muffins and Butterfinger candy bars. We had these for a snack.



Looking for Corduroy’s Missing Button


This idea can be used at the beginning of the year to introduce children to the staff and and acquaint them with the building or it could be used as a shape review.


Cut different shapes (circle, star, square, etc.), laminate and use a maker to draw button holes on the shapes. Before the children arrive, distribute these buttons to staff members throughout the building (principal, librarian, lunch helper, etc.) Read the book, Corduroy, to the class and tell them they are going to go look for his missing button. Travel from place to place, introducing the staff and asking if they have found Corduroy's missing button. Each staff member has a button, but not Corduroy's button. Have Teddy Grahams or gummy bears waiting in the classroom for a snack. You can make a facsimile to Corduroy's button and have it hidden in the room or it can forever remain missing.


One follow-up activity would be sorting and graphing real buttons. Another would be making a construction paper bear with a coverall and gluing real buttons on it.


Several other Corduroy activities can be found below.



“Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Bill Martin
“Corduroy” by Don Freeman
“A Pocket for Corduroy” by Don Freeman
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears”
“Somebody and the Three Blairs” by Marilyn Tolhorst
“Ira Sleeps Over”
“One Bear All Alone”
“It’s the Bear” by Jez Alborough
“Where’s My Teddy?” by Jez Alborough
“We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
“Baby Brown Bear’s Big Bellyache” by Eugene Coco
“Berlioz the Bear” by Jan Brett
“The Big Bears”
“The Bears’ Autumn”
“Alphabears: An ABC Book” by Kathleen Hague
“Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear: A Classic Counting Rhyme”
illustrated by Michael Hague
“Every Autumn Comes the Bear” by Jim Arnosky
“We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen
“The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, And The Big Hungry Bear”
“Tops and Bottoms”

"Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" by Bill Martin

Literature Extension Activities                      


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

*Read books several days in a row, allowing students to find color words and join in.
*Make puppets to retell the story.
*Act out the story.
*Make an innovation of the book, using children’s names and pictures.

Brown Bear lesson plan and character cards

Brown Bear printable templates
(color or black and white)

Brown Bear
(match animal pictures to color word cards)


Brown Bear story patterns



*Read “Corduroy” and “A Pocket for Corduroy”.
*Play the game, “Button, button, whose got the button?”
*Relate to living and non-living things by reading non-fiction literature such as “The Big Bears” or “The Bear’s Autumn”.
*Read “The Button Box” and discuss alike and different (size, holes, shapes, colors).

Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?
(activities to deal with children’s fears)

Goldilocks and the Three Bears
(characters and furniture templates)

(retelling pieces at end of lesson plan)

*Make a Venn diagram comparing Goldilocks and the Three Bears to “Somebody and the Three Blairs”.
*Act out the story with the children wearing character headbands.
*Children make story puppets that they may take home to retell the story.



*Sort pictures of objects and characters from story (beds, bowls, chairs, bears, Goldilocks): 

Find all the big/medium/small things.

Find all the bowls/beds/chairs/bears.


Find all the living/non-living things.

Use the cards to retell the story.

Bear Shadow
(shadow activities for children’s families to complete)


The Bear Went Over the Mountain
The bear went over the mountain.
The bear went over the mountain.
The bear went over the mountain
To see what he could see.

And what do you think he saw?
What do you think he saw?

The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain
Was all that he could see.

The Bear Hunt
(an echo chant)

Leader tells everyone to repeat exactly what he says and mimic exactly what he does. Beat hands alternately on knees—this represents you walking down a path looking for a bear.

Leader: Do you want to go on a bear hunt?
Group: Repeats same
Leader: Alright!
Group: Repeats same
Leader: Let’s go.
Group: Repeats same
Leader: What’s that?
Group: Repeats same
That’s a river.
Group: Repeat
Leader: Can’t go over it.
Group: Repeat
Leader: Can’t go under it.
Group: Repeat
Leader: Gotta go through it.
Group: Repeat
Leader: Alright.
Group: Repeat
Leader: Let’s go.
Group: Repeat
(Move as if swimming. Swim eight strokes. Then resume beating the knees with the hands.)

Oh, look!
                What’s that?
                That’s a bridge.
                Can’t go under it.
                Can’t go through it.
                 Gotta go over it.
                 Let’s go.
(Pound chest to make a noise of walking over a bridge. Then resume beating knees.)

   Oh, look!
                What’s that?
                That’s a swamp.
                Can’t go over it.
                Can’t go under it.
                Gotta go through it.
                Let’s go.
(Make a movement with hands as if the grass was high and you’re pushing it to one side. Then resume beating knees.)

  Oh, look!
                 What’s that?
                That’s mud.
                 Can’t go over it.
                 Can’t go under it.
                 Gotta go through it.
                 Let’s go.
(Make upward movement with hands as if it were hard to pull feet out of the mud. Resume beating knees.)

   Oh, look!
                  What’s that?
                 That’s a tree.
                  Can’t go under it.
                  Can’t go over it.
                  Gotta go up it.
                  Let’s go.

(Make tree climbing motions. Suddenly look up and say:
  Oh, look!
                What’s that?

Reverse motions previously done very quickly—nothing is said.
Down the tree; back on the path; through the mud; back on the path; through the swamp; back on the path; over the bridge; back on the path; across the river; and back on the path.
Leader gives a sigh of relief and wipes his brow.

The Cool Bear Hunt by Dr. Jean is similar to this. The words can be found at

Fuzzy Wuzzy
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy,
Was he?

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, up on tiptoes.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your nose.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, walk to me.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, bend your knee.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, hop around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit on the ground.

Bear March
(same as The Ants Go Marching-change "ants" to "bears")
The bears are marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah! .....

Teddy Bear ABC Chant
I lost my teddy. Oh, where can he be?
I don’t think my mother put him away.
I wonder how far my teddy will go.
Isnt’ there anyone who’ll help me?
I think I’ll sit down here and cry!
What? You mean he’s still in my bed?

Class/Individual Books                      

Brown Bear Innovation
(Make a class book featuring student names and pictures.)
Dylan, Dylan, who do you see? I see Jake looking at me.

A Bear Followed Me Home
(Make book and have appropriate number of bears on each page and text below.

Students color bears appropriate color.)
On Sunday, I saw 1 red bear, and he followed me home.
On Monday, I saw 2 blue bears, and they followed me home.
On Tuesday, I saw 3 yellow bears, and they followed me home.
On Wednesday, I saw 4 green bears, and they followed me home.
On Thursday, I saw 5 orange bears, and they followed me home.
On Friday, I saw 6 orange bears, and they followed me home.
On Saturday, I saw 7 GREAT BIG BLACK bears, and they followed me home.
And my mother said, “NO MORE BEARS!!”


Where Is Teddy?” (position word booklet), The Mailbox, Kindergarten, Aug/Sept, 1998

“My Black Bear Book”, The Mailbox, Kindergarten, Feb/Mar, 1996


Other Literacy Ideas                      

Erase the Face Game

Divide the class into two teams. To reinforce sight words or letters, show a flash card to first person in line. If read correctly, he erases one part of the bear (eye, arm, etc.) First team to "erase the face" wins.

Have a Bear Share. We told our friends our bears' names, where we got our bears, why our bear is special and where our bears sleep. Each of our bears received an award at the end of the day.

Bear Erase-a Rhyme


This idea was posted on and is a combination of the rhyming talents of Jessica, Barb, and Jan. You can print a bear picture out on a transparency and transfer the picture to a dry erase board. Read the story and the children take turns erasing the "rhyme".


Teacher begins with:
“We’re going on a bear hunt!
Make no noise - - don’t even grunt!”

Hey - do you think bears like pies?

I don’t know, but we’d be able to tell by the gleam in his _____ (eyes)!

When we find a bear, will it stop for a picture and pose?
"No way, Jose", that everyone _____ (knows/nose)!

When they eat honey, do they get stung?
I don’t know; we’d have to look at their ___ (tongue).
Which way shall we go---North, East, West, or South?
How do I know? Hey, you’ve got pie all over your ____ (mouth).

I bet they have mighty powerful jaws!
Yeah, just like their great big _____ (paws).

What do you think the bear hears?
Have you ever seen their round ____ (ears)?

“Run faster than the bear,” is what my mom always said.
Yeah, just try to keep away from his _____ (head).

Have you ever seen a bear cry?
Only when it wears a polka-dotted ______ (tie).

We can only get as close as he allows.

Now erase his bushy _______ (eyebrows).


He's been eating fish; his breath is all smelly.

Now we can erase his _____ (belly).




Glue paper pattern blocks on ties worn by the teddy bears. This was done in a learning center.

Use dyed bear macaroni to make patterns.
Teddy bear counters, gummy bears or teddy grahams could also be used.



Sort M&Ms by color on to different sections of a bear's body.

Sort real bears brought from home--bears that are brown and bears that are NOT brown. We also sorted our bears by size--small and medium.



Read “Corduroy” and sort buttons in various ways—shape, color, number of holes.


Sort teddy bear counters, dyed macaroni bears, gummy bears, teddy bear grahams.


Make a graph of real gummy bears and the best part is eating them when it's finished.


One-to-One Correspondence                      

Make a workmat of six beds. Children must put one bear in each bed.

Read “A Pocket for Corduroy”. Make a worksheet showing several bears in overalls. Draw one pocket on each bear’s overalls.

Use a bunk bed workmat to reinforce one-to-one
correspondence. For every bear on top, a bear has to be placed on the bottom bunk also.

Addition/Subtraction Readiness                      

Put 10 teddy grahams on a bed workmat. Sing the song “Roll Over” and remove (or eat) one teddy graham for each verse for subtraction readiness.

The bunk bed workmat could also be used for acting out addition story problems.


Discuss real bears (bears that are living) and fictional bears from some of the stories we read (non-living bears). Then sort pictures of living and non-living bears.

Classify the animals from Brown Bear by habitat (land or water).

Culminating Activities  

Teddy Bear Games                      

This idea was adapted from August Monthly Book, The Education Center (TEC758).


The Teddy Bear Game activities are:
*Opening Ceremonies-Sing several songs related to bears.
*Bears in Buckets-try to toss about 5 bears into a bucket.
*Bouncing Bears-put all of the bears children brought from home on a sheet. Children hold the edges of the sheet and bounce the bears up and down (and off the sheet).
*Musical Bears-children hold their bears as they play Musical Chairs.
*Balance Beam Bears-each child holds her bear as she walks across a balance beam.
*Obstacle Course-children run through an obstacle course as they hold their bears. They finish by sliding their bear over a table and crawling under the table to retrieve their bears.
*Busy Bear Relay-run a relay race, handing off a stuffed bear to the next team member.
*Closing Ceremonies-prepare an Olympic Bear Snack, receive participation “medals”  for both bears and bear owners.

Make a Pass Card for the games, featuring 8 boxes for the activities the children will participate. Students will put a sticker in each box as the activity is completed.

Part of our Opening Ceremonies consisted of singing Dr. Jean's Bear Hunt song, about a bear with big, googly eyes.

Bears on a Blanket was probably our favorite game....






...because we got to do this!

During the Bears in the Bucket game, we tried to throw 5 bears into the tub.

Musical Bears was fun--play it just like Musical Chairs.

We enjoyed playing Bears on the Balance Beam.

Run, run, as fast as you can--it's the Teddy Bear Relay Race!

At the end of the Obstacle Course game, we pushed our bear across the table and crawled under the table to get it.

For a snack, use vanilla frosting to attach gummy bears to five vanilla wafers so they look like the five Olympic Rings.

Give each child a medal for participating in the Teddy Bear Games. One can be given to the bears, too!

Every bear receives an award. Some awards could be:

Smallest Bear

Tallest Bear 

Smartest Bear

Most Colorful Bear 

Best Fed Bear

Sleepiest Bear 

Bear with Cutest Nose

Cutest Bear 

Most Huggable Bear 

Best Dressed Bear 

Bear with Longest Fur

 Whitest Bear

Best Named Bear

Bear with the Most Surgeries

 Fuzziest Bear 

Most Loved Bear

Fattest Bear 

Brownest Bear

Happiest Bear

Bear with Longest Arms

Teddy Bear Picnic                      

Finish the day by having a Teddy Bear Picnic. Wear bead headbands because you have to come in "disguise" as bears--after all, only bears are allowed at a teddy bear picnic. Dine on two bear favorites---fish and honey. (Okay, you really eat Goldfish crackers and honeycomb cereal.) Watch the Teddy Bears' Picnic video. It is a "BEARY" fun day!



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