In this unique version of the “Three Bears,” there's much to learn about the Grizzly Bear, the Polar Bear, the Black Bear, and Alaska. The clever story, along with the “bear” facts at the bottom of each page, provide a great view of the land and the wildlife. This is a nice way to get a glimpse of bear country and to see how fact and fiction can be used together.
Behind The Scenes
Authors Shannon Cartwright and Shelly Gill have created a number of children's books about Alaska. Both woman live there and are considered authorities on that part of our country.
On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the forty-ninth state. In addition to being our largest state, it's also one of the most interesting. The climate, the mountain ranges, the wilderness, the glaciers, the volcanoes, and the Eskimos are just a few of the topics that children will want to explore.
Many Different Directions
- Locate Alaska on a map. Name the bodies of water that surround this state. Point out the Aleutian Islands and Kodiak Island. Note the size of Alaska, in relation to the other states. Note its location, in relation to the other states. Find out more about this state and what makes it unique. Display books, travels brochures, and information about Alaska. Have children share what they learn.
- Write your own “Bear” facts. Include information on all three bears. See how much information you can put under each heading. For example:
has light fur
smallest of the three
- Read maps. Study the three simple maps depicted on the first two pages of this story. Help children determine what each map tells about each bear. Identify the places where each bear can be found. Decide if any of the bears can be seen where you live.
- Go on an “animal” hunt. Learn about other animals that are found in the wilderness. Skim the story to find the animals mentioned. Make a list. Ask interested volunteers to gather facts about other animals that live in Alaska. Have them share this information with the class.
- Talk about animal adaptations. Call attention to the special qualities that enable bears to survive. Reread the information about the polar bear's hair, being transluscent, not white. Explain that if the bear's hair were really white, it would reflect the sun's rays and heat, and might cause the bear to freeze from the cold. Besides keeping warm, determine why else polar bears have hair that appears white.
- Read aloud Kiana's Iditarod (Paws IV Publishing, 1984), another Alaskan adventure by Shelley Gill and Shannon Cartwright. The Iditarod, a thousand mile dog sled trip from Anchorage to Nome, is a world famous race that takes place annually. This picture book captures the spirit of the race, the beauty of Alaska, and the struggles and hardships of the wilderness.