4 Things You Can Teach Your Kids While Reading 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?'

Use the beloved book as a springboard for learning with these easy and engaging ideas.
Jan 09, 2019

Ages

1-3

4 Things You Can Teach Your Kids While Reading 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?'
From "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin and Eric Carle, published by Henry Holt and Company

Jan 09, 2019

Little ones love to have familiar books read to them over and over. One of those timeless and super popular favorites found in many of our homes is, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. And what's not to love when it comes to this classicIt captivates pre-readers with its lyrical text, engaging predictability, and bright bold animals on each page. Here are four easy ways to engage your preschooler even more while reading this beloved book.

1. Go on a Color Hunt

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? can be used as an introduction to colors. As you read each page, point to the animal and ask your child to name the color of the animal.

For the page below, you could say, "What color is the bird?" When your child answers say, "Yes, the bird is red. This bird might be a Cardinal." Rephrasing what your child says models how to answer in a sentence format and also builds your child's listening vocabulary.

To reinforce color recognition, have your child look around the room to identify something else that is the same color.

2. Notice the Difference Between Text and Images

Understanding print concepts is an important pre-reading skill. Helping kids distinguish between the words and the picture on a page will ready them for one day reading on their own. Simply point out the difference between text and images while you enjoy a book together.

If you were reading the page above, you might say, "Here are the words that tell me what to say. And, this is a picture of a bird that shows me what I read." Then, ask your child to point to a picture or words on another page.

3. Play Animal ID

After enjoying the story, play a round of Animal ID. Provide some clues to your kids and then have them guess what animal you are describing from the book.

For our red bird, we might give the following clues:

  • It's red.
  • This animal flies.
  • The animal might say "tweet-tweet" or "cheep-cheep".

Encourage your child to flip the pages and point to the picture of the animal that matches the clues you provide.  Preschoolers may also like to have a turn giving clues about one or more of the animals in the book.

Find out more about why it's so important for young children to know their farm animals.

4. Try a Round of "Do You See?"

The sentence, "What do you see?" is repeated throughout the book. So play a fun little game of “Do You See” while reading. Periodically stop on a page and ask your child to find and point to the different animal body parts.

Using our red bird example from above, you might ask some of the following questions or prompts.

  • Do you see....the bird’s beak?
  • Do you see...the bird’s tail?  Point to it!
  • Do you see...the bird's eye?

These simple activities will build your kid's vocabulary, listening skills, and ability to identify text words, all while enjoying a book together.

Connect with Jodie at her site Growing Book by Book.

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