Tie in a fun and memorable bear theme when introducing your students to the classroom rules, creating a class book, and practicing math skills.
- Learn the 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
- Lined chart paper
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Blank white paper
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
- Two teddy bears
- Cut out two large bears from chart paper. Leave one blank and write the classroom rules on the other.
- Make a smaller blank bear outline for each student. Students will tape the bears around the list of rules posted on the classroom walls, so use the number of students in your classroom to determine the size of the bear outline. You may want to use full 8.5" x 11" sheets or cut them in half or quarters.
- Optional: Depending on your students' skill levels, you may want to lightly write each student's name on a bear outline for the students to trace, rather than asking them to write their names themselves.
Part 1: Read Aloud
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 students 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...).
- For each part of the room, explain and practice the procedures of the area, either in the moment or after each area has been pointed out.
Step 5: 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.
Part 2: Discussing Good Behavior
Step 1: Start the lesson with a quick recap of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. Remind students that Brown Bear and the other animals saw a lot, and so did they. Ask students:
- What did you see in the classroom?
- What good ways did you see others acting?
- How do you think students should act when they're in school?
Record students' responses on the blank bear-shaped butcher paper.
Step 2: Discuss why students suggested these things.
Step 3: Take out the list of classroom rules you wrote on the other bear-shaped sheet of chart paper. Share the list of rules on the chart paper.
Step 4: 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 students to explain how they think the two lists connect.
Step 5: Bring out the two teddy bears for a demonstration. Explain that you want students to look at the ways you are modeling two teddy bears and see if the way 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 6: Distribute the smaller bear outlines and have students write or trace their names on the outline. Some students will be able to write on their own and others will need more help.
Step 7: Have students use crayons to color the bears and then cut them out.
Step 8: As a way to invest students in the classroom community, have students walk up and tape their bears around the list of classroom rules to show that following the rules will let them always see students learning and happy.
Supporting All Learners
Some students may not have developed fine motor skills, so you may need to help them color and cut out 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 their paper 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 that encouraged students to interact?
- Were students able to work with partners to share art materials and scissors?
- Was there enough time for all students to be successful?
- How might you do this lesson differently next time?
- Observe students' oral responses during class discussion and when sharing materials.
- Fine motor skills can be assessed as students make their bears.