Beary Necessary Rules
Introduce your students to class rules and help them identify appropriate classroom behavior through story reading and related game play.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
About this book
Students learn classroom rules and procedures starting with the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin.
- Learn rules and expectations of the classroom.
- Listen to a read-aloud story.
- Identify the parts of a book: front and back covers, title, author, and illustrator.
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
- Lined chart paper
- Bear-shaped chart with a copy of class rules
- Crayons and markers
Set Up and Prepare
- Make two large bears from butcher paper (leave one blank and write the rules on the other).
- Make a blank bear outline for all students.
Step 1: Prior to reading the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, tell students your expectations for reading time:
- Sit quietly
- Keep your eyes on the teacher
- Keep your hands and legs to yourself
Step 2: Share the parts of the book before reading, including the front cover, back cover, title, and author.
Step 3: During the read-aloud, model expressive reading. Clarify the text by asking questions such as:
- What does this remind you of?
- What picture is going to be on the next page?
- Have you ever seen a real animal this color?
Step 4: The second to last page of the story asks, “Children, Children, What do you see?” This is a wonderful opportunity to have children notice the various areas of the classroom, and to go over procedures and behavioral expectations. Use the rhythm of the book to engage students in this learning.
- Ask students to share the parts of the room they see (desks, reading areas, centers, etc…).
- Explain and practice the procedures of the area now, or go into more specific practicing of procedures after each area has been pointed out.
- Ask students to also share how they see their fellow students sitting and acting. Highlight the positive ways students are acting as the way to always act in school.
Step 1: With the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear read the previous day, tell the class that yesterday Brown Bear and the other animals saw a lot and so did they. Ask them: What did they see in the classroom? What good ways did they see others acting? How do they think students should act when they're in school?
Step 2: Record responses on the blank chart paper.
Step 3: Discuss why they suggested these things.
Step 4: Take out the list of classroom rules already written on the chart paper.
Step 5: Share the list of rules on the chart paper.
Step 6: Displaying the two charts next to each other, ask students: What rules did we come up with that go along with the ones here? Ask them to explain how they think the two lists connect.
Step 7: Say that you want them to look at the ways you are modeling two teddy bears and see if the ways the bears are acting is good. Use the two bears to demonstrate scenarios that could happen in the classroom, such as sharing markers. Ask students to describe what they see with the interaction, both positive and negative. If the actions are positive, how do they go with the rules? If the actions are negative, how can the bears act differently?
Step 8: As a way to invest students more in the classroom community, have them each write or trace their name on a blank bear outline. Some will be able to write on their own and others will need more help. They can color the bear and then cut it out. Then have them walk up and tape the bear with their name on it around the list of rules to show that following the rules will let them always see students learning and happy.
Supporting All Learners
Some children may not have developed fine motor skills, so you may need to help them cut and color their bears.
- Have students make headbands in the shape of the bear with the rules on it. They can wear this and practice saying class rules.
- Encourage higher level thinking by asking students to evaluate what rules they like the best.
- Have students use the bears as puppets to show what good interactions look like.
Give students your parent letter to take home, which includes an introduction to the class and the rules. Ask parents fill out basic information such as address, telephone numbers, email address, place of work, and them most convenient time to contact them. When students return the forms, file them in a binder.
Students will participate in story time. Students will create a bear with their name on it.
- Did you present the discussion and story in an engaging way for students to interact?
- Were they able to work with partners to share markers and scissors?
- Was there enough time for all students to be successful?
- How might you do this lesson differently next time?
Observe the children’s oral responses during class discussion and when sharing materials. Fine motor skills can be assessed as the children make their bears.