Before You Begin
These "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt" lesson plans are perfect on a nice day with a group of preschoolers. Start off inside, and use the first column of a K-W-L chart to find out what the children already know about bears. In the second column, help the children make a list of things they want to know about bears. Read a nonfiction book with children about bears, such as “Baby Animals: Bears” by Kate Petty or “A Bear’s Year” by Amy Levin. Use the information the children learn in the book to fill out the third column of the K-W-L chart.
Introduction to the Hunt
Take the children outside and tell them that you’re about to go on a pretend bear hunt. If weather or location does not permit going outside, you may wish to relocate to a larger space like a large-muscle room or slightly larger classroom. If even moving to a larger space is not an option, you can still perform this activity by pantomiming actions in place.
Explain that there’s a bear on the loose, and you have to find it to make sure it stays safe. (Make sure that children understand that this scenario is “make believe.”) Tell them that you’re going to start a Bear Hunt chant, and they should repeat after you. Encourage them to follow you as you go off on your bear hunt and to follow your lead as much as possible.
During the Hunt
Use the chant below, or some variation, on your bear hunt. The chorus should be repeated between each stanza, and additional stanzas can be added before the last one. Act out each line as you go. For example, when you say "We’re going on a bear hunt," you can pretend to look through binoculars. When you say "Gotta go through it," pretend that you are sloshing through the thick mud of the swamp. Encourage children to mimic your actions.
We’re going on a bear hunt!
We’re gonna find a big one.
I’m not afraid.
Look, there’s a mountain!
Can’t go under it.
Can’t go around it.
Gotta go over it!
Look, there’s a swamp!
Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under it.
Gotta go through it!
Ew! *Slosh, Slosh*
(Add similar stanzas for a bridge, a tree, and a river.)
Look, there’s a cave!
Maybe there’s a bear in there.
I’ll go see.
AHHHH! It’s a bear!
Quick, back over the bridge!
Forget about the tree!
Race through the river!
Quick, through the swamp!
Over the mountain!
We made it!
Activities for After the Bear Hunt
Have the children dictate a story about the activity, and write their responses on sentence strips on the board. Number the different obstacles that they got through on their way to the bear. Then let children draw pictures about what they were imagining while they were on the hunt. They may choose to draw just one scene, such as the children sloshing through the mud. Help them write a caption under their pictures, and encourage them to share their pictures with the rest of the children.
You can extend this activity even further, by binding the pages into a classroom book that can be shared over and over again. Students can relive their bear hunt experience by re-creating the motions in their seats or while sitting on their classroom squares. Together, you can brainstorm ways to demonstrate the actions without actually moving around the classroom.
With these fun "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt" lesson plans, you are sure to hear the children talking about this activity for weeks to come – and you might even find them leading some bear hunts themselves!
This post is part of the series: Preschool and Toddler Teddy Bear Activities
- Preschool Lesson Plans: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
- Five Teddy Bear Crafts for Preschool
- Teddy Bear Theme for Toddlers: Book, Activity, and Craft Ideas
- Preschool Activities on Corduroy the Teddy Bear
- Three Preschool Winter Crafts: Animals and Hibernation