Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I hope your are having a very "BEAR"-y January!

There are tons of great children's books about bears.  January seems to be the perfect time to use them!  In addition to the classic, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, one of my favorites is Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough.  In the story, two stuffed bears become misplaced.  They end up with the wrong owners.  The owners are one LARGE bear (who lives in the woods) and a young boy.  Both the boy and the bear want their OWN TEDDY.  The boy is afraid of the bear and the bear is afraid of the boy.  For the sake of their beloved teddy bears, they confront their fear.  The boy and the bear nervously face each other and end up with their own stuffed toy.

I needed a simple, cute, bear pattern that would look identical to the teddy I created for a SMART Notebook lesson.  I used the Microsoft Office shape tool to create a simple bear pattern.  I wanted the children to be able to assemble and take apart laminated bear-parts using Velcro (trademark) fasteners.  This was to teach the concept of parts to whole.  I used colored card-stock to print the bears shown below.

I printed the bears on brightly colored card-stock paper and cut them out.

I laminated the pieces for long lasting use.  I use the thickest laminating sheets available.  These cost more . . . but the materials will last for years.

I cut the pieces out again.

I carefully positioned five Velcro (trademark) coins on the bear's torso.  Four coins are for the arms and legs and one coin is for the bear's head.

IMPORTANT!  I put the matching coins, upside down on the bear's torso so the sticky side is face up.  This ensures proper alignment when I attach the arms, legs, and head.
I cut a Velcro (trademark) coin in half and used the two pieces for the ears.  This made the attachment less secure.  Afterward, I wished I had used the other option which was to have the ears already attached to the head.

I made the bears to reinforce the concept of parts to whole.  I wanted students to be actively engaged (making the bears) while a bear was assembled on the SMART Board.  "Parts into Whole" is an essential concept that builds toward word knowledge and early math concepts.

Directing the children to place the arms, legs, and head "in front of" the torso reinforces this prepositional phrase.  Directing the children to place the ears "behind" or "in back of" the head exposes them to additional terms.

I was happy with how the bears turned out.  The patterns were quick and easy to cut out which saved time.

Five sets of laminate bears can fit inside a plastic storage container or a quart sized plastic baggie.

The picture below shows what the bears look like with the lamination process omitted.  This would be a huge time saver.  It will work well this a "Part to Whole" activity lesson.  The children could put the bears together on their tables of desks without fastening the pieces together.  The pieces might withstand a few years of use.

Another quick and easy way to do this activity would be to copy the bears on plain, white paper and let the students use crayons to color the bears in.  An adult could cut the pieces out later on.  Children that have developed scissor skills, might be able to help with this as well.  Once the bears are cut out, they could be stapled or glued together.  These would make a cute bulletin board display!  Brass fasteners would allow for bears with moveable parts.

The yellow bear is how I feel at the beginning of the week - rested and put together.  By the middle of the week I'm like the blue bear . . . feeling a little disheveled but keeping it together.  By the end of a week . . . well I'm like the pink bear.  Here's to Fridays!

I am offering the bear pattern as a free item at my Teachers pay Teachers store.  You can get it by clicking the picture below:

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