The last two weeks my class has been LOVING reading the book, “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.” I bought them the sound version of the book which was a HUGE hit with my kindergarteners. My objective with using this book was to help my students understand that the order in which something happens in a story is important. Using the version of the book that had sounds was a great way for us to easily review the sequence of events. My class loved pushing the buttons and recalling what happened at each point in the book.
You can get a copy of this at Amazon by clicking on this picture:
I also created a number of interactive sequence of events activities for my students. The first activity was a large, whole group lesson that used giant real life pictures of the different scenes in the book. My students loved coming up to help me put the story in order. I then created a smaller version of this activity for students to use during our center time. The students had a great time taking out the book and reading it to their friends. They scrambled the cards underneath the book and then put the picture cards in order on their work mat as they worked their way through the book.
(Some students also added the labels to their pictures– this was a way that I was able to differentiate the center.)
This was a great way for my students to practice the skill “Sequence of Events.” I also included individual books for my students to illustrate to really drive this skill home. After they put the cards in order, they illustrated each part of the story.
Another fun center that they enjoyed was going on an actual bear hunt. On each bear hunt card I hid a letter. My students then hunted around the room to find the hidden letters.
Once they found a letter, they wrote the letter that they found and illustrated a picture of something that started with that sound. This was a great way to practice both handwriting but also beginning sound fluency!
As the week progressed, they were able to choose more and more literacy centers that were themed around our read aloud. As a way to practice sounds and letter formation, I used real life pictures and large letters to create a play dough center. As you can imagine, this was a huge hit!
We also learned all about a variety of bears throughout the week. As labeling is something we are working on, practicing nomenclature during literacy centers is a great way to practice this skill. If you are unfamiliar with nomenclature, nomenclature is a way to build vocabulary and concepts in all subject areas. Also known as 3-part cards, these materials are made up of pictures and labels. The simplicity of the materials is in the picture of an object and its name. They can be used with non-readers as the children are able to match up the letters on the labels and figure out with label goes with each picture. Nomenclature cards use control cards as a build in control of error. This way, children are able to self-correct without the help from their teacher.
The way that I used this in my classroom was with the bears that we were learning about. The first step was for the student to lay out the cards that included both the pictures and the labels. They then matched the pictures of the bears to the entire cards.
Finally, they matched the labels or words to the cards.
Once all the cards were matched, their mats looked like this:
This activity is a great way to build the confidence of struggling readers and to also help them with a hands-on way to practice labeling pictures. The words on the first cards ensure that the students can succeed independently.
We are also working on mastering rhyming words. At the pocket chart center my students turned over the bear cards in an attempt to match pictures that rhymed. Currently playing memory is a favorite in my class and it’s a great way to foster “team work” and communication among your students.
The last center that my students enjoyed was hunting for rhyming words in our sensory table. I filled the table with split peas, fava beans, and black beans. I bought about 6 bags of each and dumped them in the table. I then added a few mini pumpkins and gourds to make it look fallish. My students enjoyed digging through the beans to make their matches.
I try to make my centers engaging and interactive. My students enjoy them because they know what is expected of them and can complete the tasks by themselves. If they finish early, they have many choices available to them on our literacy shelf. Having extra options ensures that while I am working with students during guided reading my students do not need to come and ask me what they need to do next. This also allows my students a choice in what they are working on. I like to call these “forced choices.” The reason I call them this is because I have structured my shelf to included games that include things that all of my students need to work on. They like it because they get to choose the activity; I like it because they are working on essential skills in a fun format.
While my students were hard at work on their center choices, my other students were working with me in guided reading groups. This week we were working on positional words. I created a book that featured these words in an emergent book format. My students LOVED that I used real life bears in the book.
We practiced finding the word “the” on each page using clear counters:
We also practiced reading our positional words using animal helpers.
My students really enjoyed these activities, however, their favorite was when they had to show their friend one of the positional words and then have them act it out in the classroom. Climbing THROUGH the tunnel was their absolute favorite.
After our guided reading groups my students worked on some quick writes. They enjoyed unscrambling their favorite parts in the books and were so proud of themselves as they shared their work with their friends.
In using a familiar picture book, my students were able to work on a variety of skills in a fun format. They LOVED their centers and activities. All of these activities can be found in my new Bear Hunt pack. I KNOW that your students will LOVE the centers, guided reading books, and many activities included in the pack. You can get it at my TpT shop by clicking on the picture below. (you can also click HERE)
Next week we will study PUMPKINS! We will explore mini and large pumpkins throughout the week and use this FREEBIE that I made last year to record our science and math findings! If you need a FREE one page pumpkin science and math recording page, click here!