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Show the class the cover of the book, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. Ask the children what they think the story might be about. Begin reading the story, stopping to discuss and ask questions as you read. Some questions you might ask are:
Why do you think the bear likes strawberries so much?
How do you think the little mouse can keep the strawberry away from the big, hungry bear?
What would you do if you were the mouse?
If you were the bear what would you do to get the strawberry?
After reading, ask the children if they would have shared the strawberry or done something else. Then point out that the bear is never seen in the book. Reread the story and ask the children to think about what the bear looks like. Then have them draw or paint a picture of what they think the big, hungry bear might look like.
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Let your preschoolers taste some strawberries in different ways. Give your preschoolers fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries and strawberry jelly or jam to taste. Then give each child a strawberry-shaped paper to put on a chart showing his favorite type of strawberry. Discuss the results.
A strawberry snack is another fun way to taste strawberries. Make strawberry shortcakes with slices of pound cake or angel food cake, strawberries and cool whip or whipped cream. Strawberry smoothies, made with fresh or frozen strawberries, yogurt and milk, are another fun snack idea.
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Big and Little Activities
Use The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear to reinforce the concepts of big and small with these preschool activities.
As you read, talk about how big the strawberry is compared to the little mouse. Are strawberries as big as mice in real life? Ask the children how big they think the big, hungry bear is. After reading the story, look at some pictures of bears and mice and notice the size difference. Then hand out pictures of different animals, both big and small, to the students. Show them a chart with a line down the middle and one side labeled big and the other little. Have the students place their pictures onto the correct side of the chart.
As a follow up activity give the children pictures of other big and small things to practice sorting. Another easy idea is to have them fold a piece of paper in half and draw one or two small things on one side and one or two big things on the other.
These preschool activities for the big, hungry bear will have your students begging to read more books by Don and Audrey Wood. Try some of these activities for Quick as a Cricket and The Napping House for a fun Don and Audrey Wood author unit.