Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?
Brown Bear is an iconic picture book written by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle. This year marks 50 years since the publishing of this classic repetition of interesting colored animals!
Brown Bear is a perfect book to read when introducing your children to reading, colors, animals, rhythms and more! You’re more than likely familiar with the book, but it starts off with a brown bear being asked what he sees, he responds that he sees a red bird, and the story goes in that format of one animal to the next and so on. For early readers, this is the perfect book for them to become engaged in the story. The simplistic writing allows children to not only remember what’s going to happen next, but to actually learn the words and associate them with the memorable pictures.
A great idea when reading with your children depending on age, is to ask them to create new colored animals to keep the story going,. For example: “Susie, Susie, what do you see?” “I see a pink monkey looking at me!”
My daughter is one, and this is one of the first books I introduced to her. I can say, go and get brown bear, and she’ll bring me the book. She turns the pages and even says bear! It’s extremely crucial that children learn to read at an early age while their minds are absorbent. It’s even more important that we as parents, or aunts, uncles, grandparents, or siblings are reading with them. We have to show them how important reading is and how fun it can be! There are plenty of ways to help your children to become ready readers, and they’re all so simple.
- Share Books
Reading aloud together is the perfect way to positively influence your ready reader.
- Share Sounds
Learning new sounds are the jumpstart to learning new words!
- Share Words
Share new words and their meanings. Offer synonyms to broaden your child’s vocabulary.
- Share Rhymes
Rhymes are a great way to teach children new words and help in explaining syllables and endings of words.
- Share Songs
Songs are a fun way of teaching your child words and pronunciations!
- Share Stories
Listening to your child’s stories helps to build their confidence in being a reader and in using their voice!
- Share Playtime
Having a playtime builds a great bond for you and your child, and this provides a positive growing mind.
7 Sharing bullets provided by The Very Ready Reading Program.
What a proud moment it is to learn to read, and even more so to see your children reading. Reading is extremely vital with our fast pace society. Reading is the start to learning, listening, and growing. To have your child interested in something that will not only benefit them, but benefit the world around us, is something to work for.
Today at our storytime we read Brown Bear for our ages 1-4, and we read Eric Carle’s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse for our ages 5-9.
For our first session, we started with the children coloring pictures of bears. We then came to our reading rug, and I started to read Brown Bear. The kids really enjoyed it, especially the pictures. It’s so easy to follow, and it’s memorable enough for parents and children to go home with the story stuck in their minds. I read the story once aloud and alone, then I read it a second time asking the kids to fill in the response. Me: “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a…” Kids: “RED BIRD LOOKING AT ME!” My daughter was in the group but she’s only one, so she could only respond with words like cat, bird etc. when she would see pictures. It was still great to have the interaction. We also had stick puppets that we made with printables and popsicle sticks to follow along during the story.
We followed the story with a related snack, chocolate teddy grahams and 1% chocolate milk. Just something simple to keep the children’s minds in accordance with the story. We then started our craft of brown bear masks! Originally, I had planned to order Brown Bear masks, but they weren’t going to come in on time, so this fit perfectly for our craft. For our craft, all we needed was:
- soft paper plates
- Brown Paints
- Paint brushes (we used foam brushes)
- paper straws
I cut the paper plates in half prior to the children arriving, as well as cut holes our of the top where eyes would be. The children were each given a brush and shared paint on plates. I also had cut out one small half circle for a nose, two smaller shapes for ears, and an even smaller one for each child to create a nose. They painted their halved plates and circles, and then we glued the noses on. We then taped a sturdy paper straw to the side of the created mask, so they could hold it up against their faces! They thought they were the funniest things.
I gave the parents a copy of The Very Ready Reading Program along with a list to mark down books they read together. I also gave them a chart I created with the template that we purchased with the ready reader program from upstartpromotions.com .
In the chart, I listed a few ideas that would assist their child in becoming a ready reader while building a strong parent child bonding experience. Examples:
- Visit the park! (This is a great and free way to teach your child about nature, which then would provide new words.)
- Talk about the weather together. What days does your child most enjoy? (Maybe your little one is still learning the difference between sunny and cloudy, hot and cold, dry and rainy. Asking them questions opens their mind to curiosity about these terms.)
- Make outdoor sounds. (Rain, the ocean, thunder, birds… These are all things that can develop your child’s understanding of new words.)
- Learn new words for the term HAPPY. (Expand your child’s vocabulary.)
- Discuss words that rhyme with blue. (Blue rhymes with clue, flew, two, hue.. What does hue mean? The perfect opportunity to teach your child new words and the meaning of rhymes.)
These are all manageable tasks that we are all capable of doing to inspire are children to grow!
For our second session, ages 5-9, we read The Artist who painted a Blue Horse. This book is quite simple for nine-year olds, but it’s pretty interesting introductory to the readers who may not know much about Eric Carle.
Our craft was introductory to mixed media art similar to Eric Carle’s work!
We started with blank card stock paper, different tools to paint with, and different colors of paint. These are the painting tools I offered:
- paint brushes
- foam brushes
- bubble wrap
- twine wrapped boxes
- styrofoam spheres
- popsicle sticks
We started by painting one sheet with a particular color or tool, then so on with the next. We then cut shapes out and formed “mixed media art” with them. Here are our results!
It’s actually a really interesting form of art! It can be a beautiful gift to present framed!
These are a just a few ideas to introduce Eric Carle and Brown Bear to your children. Remember that this is our job as parents or guardians, it can be such an enjoyable and rewarding job too. Forget the fact that you may think, “Well i’m not that great a reader, better yet a reading teacher…”. Your child looks up to you and is inspired by you. Read, read, and ready until both you and your child are outstanding readers! We love our little ones and we want them to excel in all that they do, this is where we have to start. Reading is so incredibly important and creating an on going learning experience to follow that is a bonus! It’s not their teacher’s job, they can only do so much. Reading takes only a few minutes a day, and it will make all the difference in our child’s life. The future is in our hands…
I hope you can celebrate Brown Bear‘s 50th birthday with your children by just simply picking up a book and reading together!