Yesterday, I explained the foundations of good teaching. Today, I’m going to give you a mostly picture post to SHOW you what it looks like.

I love the bear theme this time of year because there are so many concepts you can cover and so many great books to use. Plus, how much fun is it to bring out those cuddly teddy bears and put them to work?

We’ll start with “Inside, Outside, Upside Down” by Stan and Jan Berenstein. I love this story because it focuses so clearly on prepositions, has simple rhyming phrases, and the storyline is fun. In a nutshell, a bear climbs in a box, the box is turned upside down, taken outside, and loaded on a truck on its way to town. When the truck hits a bump, the box falls off, the bear comes out, and he runs home to tell his mom, “Mama, mama. I went to town, inside, outside, upside down!”

Here I am with two cuties doing some show and tell using the book and fun props, with a little “involve” mixed in.

Next, because repetition is important, we are going to stay with the topic of prepositions for another book by the same authors, with similar illustrations and using the same bears as props. This allows the children to really focus on the prepositions, because the structure of the activity is very much the same and they don’t have to filter out too much information to stay focused on those pages for prepositions.

We’ll use “Bears In The Night” (also by Stan and Jan Berenstein), add in a bed for the bears to sleep in, and add some printed pictures. These pictures of items in the story (like a lake, rocks, and a bridge) can be set up around the room so that children can actually act on them like objects. For example, I like to put the picture of the bridge on top of a chair or table so children can take their bear and climb under it, or take the pictures of the lake and have the children actually walk around the picture with their bear. The pictures then not only help with the show part, but definitely add in more involvement.

In this story the bears are in bed when they hear a sound. In search of the noise, they curiously get out of bed, go to the window, climb out the window, and so on, to overcome several obstacles until they reach spook hill. At the top of the hill they find the source of the sound and are so startled by it that they quickly retrace all of their steps (again more repetition) to get back to the safety of their bed.

After reading the books using show and tell, with a little involve mixed in, I would make the materials available to the children for free play so they could be completely involved and practice the concepts. I may also follow up the play with a simple art project like putting a teddy bear sticker between two rocks, inside a box, or under a bridge.

What do you think? I’ve told you the good teaching basics, shown you them in action, and now I want to involve you. What other books or activities could you use to repeat these concepts and fill up these pages?

And if you were loving that cute red bed and bedding, check out Lovelane Designs. She made it and has many other beautiful creations for kids and adults.

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2 Responses
  1. Another wonderful book that we like to act out is “Going on a Bear Hunt” (and you would still get to use your bears!) You could expand on the story and make up other obstacles for the family to get through (or over or under!)
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    • Kim says:

      I was SO hoping someone would mention this book, because it’s perfect to follow up Bears In the Night! They both have the same story structure of going to find something, over, under, through, etc., finding the thing, being scared of it, and going back through their previous obstacles. It’s PERFECT to put more marks on those pages and get them filled up! Thank you, thank you!