Polar bear twist
I think polar bears are beautiful animals. I love to help kid learn facts about them. But I’m really tired of the same thing and was looking for a twist. One of my students and I checked out some books about polar bears from our media center. We gathered the usual books with cute pictures and fun polar bear facts. I refused to even look for the Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear book. As we looked through the books one really caught my attention it is called Irving and Muktuk- Two Bad Bears by Daniel Pinkwater. There is a series of books with these characters. The story follows the two bears who crash the blueberry muffin festival year after year. They are trying to steal as many muffins as they can. They disguise themselves in their vain attempts to get muffins.
So then my twisted brain came up with the following plan.
1. Read the book with the students- work on comprehension, wh questions, vocabulary, inferencing, articulation, compare/contrast, predicting, sequencing, expected/unexpected behaviors, problem solving, cause/effect, perspective taking (what were those bears thinking!) etc.
2. I found how to draw polar bear directions on line and printed some of them off. I gave each student a marker and a recyled paper (reduce, reuse recycle!). They chose which polar bear they wanted to draw. This worked on sequencing as they needed to follow each step. You can find the site I used HERE.
3. The next time we reviewed the main idea of the story and talked about how the bears disguised themselves. Then they came up with how they would disguise their bears. I did not let anyone see the other students bears. And only one student came up with the same idea (Batman). I encouaged him to think of a new one and he did.
4. We used microsoft word clip art and a google image search to find pictures that would work with their costume/disguise ideas. Lots of problem solving and thinking about what pieces they would need for the disguise. The disguises were taped on so they could be lifted and show that it really was a polar bear. I think this one is my favorite.
5. I created a banner for our blueberry muffin festival wall with materials from the supply room. I also printed out pictures of the ways the people traveled to the event- snowmobile, snow shoes, skis, small plane and dog sled. I cut some blue tag board to create the ground and sprayed it with fake snow. Of couse I printed out muffins! Here are my signs Blueberry Muffin Festival what do you see small muffins vocabulary pics
6. I used post it notes to write the vocabulary words we learned: snow mobile, snowshoes, cross country skiing, small plane, dog sled, festival, muffin, captured and disguise. These were placed on our blueberry festival wall and the kids could match the words with the pictures.
7. I took pictures of all the disguised polar bears and created a book uisng Custom Boards app. You can see our book here- be sure to check out our surprise ending found in part 2: Muffin Book part 1 Muffin Book part 2
And yes we did learn some polar bear facts along the way but that wasn’t really the plan. I guess some kids are just curious!
So now it’s your turn to add your own twist!