Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book of the Week: Don't Wake Up the Bear

We all love Jan Brett books, right?  "The Mitten" and "The Hat" are amazing books for this time of year!  I find, though, that when I bring these books into classrooms, most of the kids will tell me "My teacher already read us that story!"  Some will have no problem listening again (and even need the repetition), but others will complain enough that I usually DON'T use those books in therapy (even though I absolutely love them).  Here's my solution:

"Don't Wake Up the Bear!" by Marjorie Dennis Murray parallels "The Mitten" in a few ways:

  • First, most of the animals are also in "The Mitten."

                "The Mitten"
                        mole, rabbit, hedgehog, owl, badger, fox, bear, mouse
                "Don't Wake Up the Bear"
                        bear, hare, badger, fox, squirrel, mouse

  • Second, the animals are all seeking a nice warm place - a mitten, or a bear's cave.

  • And probably most significantly, in both stories, there is a big SNEEZE!  In "The Mitten," the mouse's whiskers tickle the bear's nose.  He sneezes and all of the animals are scattered out of the mitten.  In "Don't Wake Up the Bear," the mouse (who is sleeping soundly in the bear's ear) sneezes, waking up the bear.  The other animals are afraid he will eat them, so they run away.  

When I introduce either of these stories, I typically review the animals first.  How many of your kids have seen/heard of a badger?   So, I do a quick image search on my iPad using Google Images and save pictures to my camera roll and create an album for the book.  (Don't know how to do this?  Click HERE for instructions).

Once we're done with that, I read the story.  There is a repetitive line in this one:  "You may come in said the hare.  But don't wake up the bear!"  I have the kids say this line, usually 2-3 times - until I know that ALL the kids are trying!  While we're reading, I either use my story stick or another visual:

The images for my story stick were created with Boardmaker.  I wish I could tell you where the other pictures came from.  I loaned my copy of "Don't Wake Up the Bear" to a colleague last year and she returned it with the pictures...colored and laminated!!!  (Have I mentioned before that I really do have some awesome colleagues?!?)  When we're done with the story, we work on sequencing and story retell using whichever visuals we used during the read aloud.

What we do next depends on whether or not they have already heard "The Mitten."

If they HAVE, we usually compare the two stories....Which animals were in both stories, what elements were the same/different, etc.  I created this simple diagram to sort pictures of the animals from each story:

You could also do a hula hoop Venn Diagram with the actual book in each hoop!  (Missed that post?  Read more HERE).  Need more portability?  Do a paper/pencil Venn Diagram!

If the students HAVE NOT read "The Mitten," I've tried a couple of things.  For the younger ones, I assign them each an animal and ask them to act out the story (They ALL want to be the bear!).  I also have a bunch of kids working on sentence formulation (Subject-is-Verbing is a big one!).  So, I used the Make Dice App ($2.99 in iTunes) to create a die of the animals in the story:

I made another with action words.  The students took turns "rolling" the two dice and saying the sentence.  I wasn't sure this would make sense for them since there is an animal and then a human completing an action, but they did great!

Then, in another session, we might read "The Mitten" and complete the other activities listed above.  Have you read this story?  What do you think?  Which story do you prefer ("The Mitten" or "Don't Wake Up the Bear")?

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