Was That a b-b-b-BEAR?!

Fiction Review & Guide: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Illo: Helen Oxenbury

Hi-ho Book Buddy!

Today, I’m reviewing a classic oldie-but-goodie “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” about a seemingly naive family headed in search for a bear. Now, you may be thinking, “What the?! Why are they looking for a bear?”
To that I would say, “I’m not so sure they thought they’d actually find one until…THEY DO!”
They go through all kinds of gorgeous environments, all the while the sing-songy theme of the book keeps drawing you in…

WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT!
WE’RE GOING TO CATCH A BIG ONE!
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!
WE’RE NOT SCARED!

Half-way through this book I was thinking, “Oh! They’re not really going to find a bear. It’s a book about enjoying Earth and all its beautiful scenery.” And in essence it still is. The thing that put hearts in my pupils is that when they finally get to the cave, they realize that finding a bear wasn’t that hard. Then, it’s the ending that gave me a hilarious flashback to “The Great Outdoors” with John Candy (remember that one?!) If you don’t…pick it up immediate. You won’t be sorry.

It’s charming, cute, sensitive, and beautiful. Definitely for the outdoor adventurer in your life. Even the animal lover. You can sing it, read it, and do all of your “action movie” voices — all with this one story!

This is a fun one, peeps! Get your copy HERE.

Activity Guide for “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen
Download the PDF for printing HERE.

Ask the children to recall the different experiences that the family encountered while on their bear hunt. List their responses on chart paper.

  1. Encourage the children to imagine that they are going on a bear hunt. Ask them to think of different places they could go — like outer space, an island, a jungle, a zoo, etc. What types of experiences might they encounter in these environments? Record the children’s ideas.
  2. Review the list with the children. Ask them to think of a special sound and movement to accompany each idea.
  3. Substitute the new bear-hunt ideas as you reread the book. Encourage them to recite the repetitive phrases and to dramatize their new adventures.
  4. Provide students with drawing materials to illustrate their new bear-hunt ideas. Attach a sheet of paper to the bottom of the drawings to include the repetitive story text and new adventure. Bind the pages together to create a fun classroom read-a-loud.

The activity below is perfect for homeschoolers or parents with fewer kids: 

Activity – Go on a bear hunt!

  1. Place the suggested bear items around the classroom before the children arrive or while they are resting.
  2. Begin the activity by rereading the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
  3. Explain that they will go on a classroom “bear hunt” to find bears or objects with bears that have been placed throughout the classroom. Provide children with a plastic bag to collect their items.
  4. Tell the children that they will begin their bear hunt when you turn on music. The bear hunt will end when the music is turned off and everyone will meet on the carpet.
  5. Ask them to show their classmates the different bear items they found. Children can count and compare their items.