Early Years 3 class ‘hunts bears’

Students in Lavette Ricks’ Early Years 3 class at Strelitz International Academy were inspired by Michael Rosen’s story, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to go on their own ‘bear hunt’ at school. So, Ricks brought the story to life and created the experience for her students who gathered binoculars and maps and prepared for the big adventure.

To start this lesson, Ricks introduced the story to her students as well as the adapted song version sung by The Kiboomers. Since the text is predictable and the rhythm is catchy, the students developed creative-thinking skills to dramatize the story over a few days. Ricks focused on the prepositions in the story such as over, under, and through. Next, the students made a list of what they might need in each scenario, and together they analyzed the list and started preparing. Each child designed their own binoculars and a map to navigate to the cave. Maps included the elements mentioned in the story such as tall wavy grass, a big river, mud and, of course, their end location; a cave.

Outside of the classroom, Ricks set up each site. The first scene was ‘tall wavy grass,’ where students enjoyed pushing through green streamers. Next there was a ‘big river,’ and with the help of blue streamers, students had to “swim” their way through. The third obstacle was mud. To create this scene, Ricks used a sensory table and brown paper which hid colorful Baby Bear Counters. As students sorted through the ‘mud,’ they counted and collected the bears they found, which tied in their math skills. And finally, what is a bear hunt without a bear? Students made their way to a ‘dark cave’ where two stuffed bears were waiting. Just like the story, the kids spotted the bears and ran all the way back to their classroom.

Teaching students to go beyond the book is SIA’s approach. It starts in the Early Years program and follows students throughout their educational journey.

The Strelitz International Academy is the community’s Jewish Day School and International Baccalaureate® World School for infants through grade 5. For more information, contact Ally St. Pierre, admissions and marketing manager, at 757-424-4327, ext. 4188 or astpierre@strelitzacademy.org.