Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Lesson Plan
Young students learn how to build awareness of the sounds in the environment.
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Literacy
Children will use technology and listening skills to explore the sounds in their outdoor environment and create a big book that uses predictable language patterns to document their experiences.
- Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.
- Digital or cassette recorder
- Chart paper
- Markers and crayons
Step 1: Read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? to children. Ask about the different sounds the polar bear heard. Record children's responses on chart paper.
Step 2: Show children the recorder. Explain that you would like them to listen quietly and think about the sounds that they hear as they sit on the rug. While they are listening, use the recorder to record the sounds. Before listening to the recorder, ask children to describe the different sounds they heard. Write their responses on chart paper. Listen to the recording. Ask children to identify the sounds they hear on the tape.
Step 3: Reread the story over the course of a few days so that the children become familiar with the patterned text. Explain to children that they will create their own book about the different sounds they hear outside. Tell children that they will go on a special walk and bring a tape recorder to record the different sounds that can be heard outside.
Step 4: After children have recorded the outdoor sounds, invite them to listen to the recording and discuss the different sounds they hear. Use chart paper to record the different sounds as children identify them. How many sounds came from things found in nature? What other types of sounds did they hear?
Step 5: Explain to children that they will create a big book titled Children, Children, What Did You Hear? and that it will be written like the book about the polar bear. Provide children with large sheets of drawing paper. Ask each child to draw a picture about something she heard on the walk. Adults can assist the children in dictating their descriptions of their drawings and in writing the patterned text. Invite children to draw small pictures that can be placed on the cover or back of the book. Bind the book and have a special publishing party.
Create a graph that documents the different types of sounds children hear both in and out of the classroom over the course of a week. Create categories for each column, such as transportation, human sounds, machines, animals, and weather. Invite children to list the types of sounds they hear. Compare the different categories. Which column on the graph had the most sounds? Which had the least?
- Hearing: The Scholastic Five Senses Preschool Curriculum by Pamela Haussner Harvey
- I Went Walking by Sue Williams
- The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
This activity originally appeared in the May, 2000 issue of Early Childhood Today.