Bear Hibernation & Bears in Early Spring Books

A couple of days ago I shared a kindergarten lesson called, Bears & Their Habitats: Kindergarteners Create.

I wanted to say more about the books that we featured and some other books that I came across, that talk about when bears wake up in the spring…

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. Illustrations by Jane Chapman: This is a cute story that will delight your young readers. Deep into winter a small mouse comes upon a bear’s cave, where it is deep in hibernation. Not even the fire he starts wakes the bear up. Not even when the rabbit comes and they pop some popcorn. Soon more animal friends come in to escape the winter storm, but still the bear snores on…until…well, you will just have to find out. 🙂 Great way to introduce hibernation and also talk about some misconceptions about what other animals do during the winter.

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson. Illustrations by Jane Chapman: Bear wakes up from his deep sleep and boy is he hungry! Each of his forest friends take him to different parts of the forest to “chomp, chomp, chomp” on the various food in an omnivore’s diet…but he still wants more. With great illustrations, bear and his friends help him feed his hunger, while others prepare for a party. Catching the sweet scent, bear comes home to find he is now too large for his own home. This is maybe where I would stop reading, just a couple of pages from the end. I would provide this problem to the class, and give them time to discuss how they might solve this problem. Maybe even take it through the whole design process, like the article I read and shared about in yesterday’s post: Novels & Engineering? YES, Please! 🙂

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! by Maureen Wright. Illustrations by Will Hillenbrand: This book is a fun add to a bear or winter animals unit, because the preK-2 audience will laugh at the bear’s interpretation of what Old Man Winter is trying to tell him. Each time the bear doesn’t hear Old Man Winter’s suggestion of “Sleep, Big Bear, sleep”, but the bear does hear something…and follows that advice. While this book will be difficult to understand for your English Language Learners (ELLs), concept-wise, the illustrations do help you connect words to actions–for example, “leap”.

When the Earth Wakes by Ani Rucki: Starting with early spring when the bears and the earth wake, Ani Rucki, takes us through the seasons. Bears remain the main character as the earth starts to become full of life, which helps the bears’ stomach to become full of food. I love the bold lines in the artwork. I think it is something the intended audience of PreK-2 would connect with, because of their own drawings. Also, because of the drawings, I think it makes for a great picture walk book, so the students can discuss what they notice about the changes–connecting it to what they have learned, or previewing what they are about to learn more about.

Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre. Illustrations by Steve Jenkins: This picture book isn’t written like a story, like I had thought when I picked it up, but it does provide young students with a view into an omnivore’s diet, and the deep hunger of a bear who has just woken up from a deep sleep. At the back of the book, it also provides even more information about bears, which provides great background knowledge for the teacher or parents, and for the readers as they get older and become more proficient readers–helping to extend the audience and purpose of the book.

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