For teachers and parents

I. How Could a Bear Sleep Here?





1. Before reading the story, introduce the terms HIBERNATION and MIGRATION. You can begin by saying:

When it gets really cold outside, bears find a cozy place to hibernate. 

Can anyone tell me what hibernation is?  (Possible answer: A long, deep sleep. Older children can explain how hibernating animals have a slower heartbeat and lower body temperature. http://mocomi.com/hibernation/

Other animals travel far away, or migrate, to a warmer place. Can you think of some animals that migrate? (Possible answers include geese and other birds, butterflies, salmon, and even people! Give hints if needed.)

In the story we are going to read, HOW COULD A BEAR SLEEP HERE?, a bear named Shelby tries to hibernate, but winds up traveling, or migrating, by mistake.

Show the children the book cover and guide them to make predictions:

Looking at the cover, can you guess where Shelby goes?  (The beach.)

Do you think a beach is a good place for a bear to hibernate? 

What might happen to a bear on the beach?

Optional: Record the children's predictions. 

Then read the book to see if their answers happen in the story. 

2. After the story, check for understanding:

What does Shelby bring back from the beach? (Shells.)

Have you ever put a conch shell over your ear?

What does it sound like? (Possible answers include the beach, the ocean, or waves.)

Do you think the shells will help Shelby stay asleep? Why or why not?

If you have conch shells available, let the children experiment with them.


What kind of bear is Shelby? (For example, is he smart? Brave? Kind?) Do you like him? Why or why not?

What will the news reporters on the beach say about Shelby?

Do you think Shelby will ever hop on a bus again? Why or why not?

If you were an animal, would you like to hibernate or migrate? Why?


1. For children ages 4-8:

Have the children brainstorm other silly places the bus could have taken Shelby.

(For example: a baseball game, mall, playground, city, amusement park, etc.)

Print out the bear picture at the end of this section. Instruct the children to color the bear and decorate the background. They can make their background look like the beach or one of the places they brainstormed, depending on their age and level of creativity. Help each child finish the sentence at the bottom: My bear visits                                   . 

* For children with scissor skills: The bears can be traced and cut from brown construction paper, then glued to a scene the children have drawn/decorated.

2. For older children:

a. Have the children write a personal narrative about a time they fell asleep in an unusual place. Did they stay asleep for long? Was it comfortable? What woke them up?

b. Have them pretend they are a reporter covering Shelby's cat rescue. Ask them to write the news article, including the 5 w's: who, what, where, when, and why.


If We See a Bear

by Julie Gonzalez

Some bears are small.   (Curl into a small ball.)

Some bears are tall.       (Reach up high.)

And if we see a bear this fall,    (Look around with "hand binoculars.")

he'll probably want to get some sleep,    (Rest head on "hand pillow.")

so quietly we'll creep, creep, creep!    (Tiptoe in place.)

(Repeat several times.)

Bear Exercises:

Let's be bendy bears!    (With arms up, bend to the right, then bend to the left.)

Let's be jumpy bears!    (Jump in place.)

Let's be quick bears!      (Jog in place.)

Let's be slow-motion bears!   (Jog in slow motion.)

Let's be tall bears!   (Reach up high.)

Let's be sitting, listening bears!    (Kids are sitting, ready for next activity.)