Friday, February 3, 2012

'Going On a Bear Hunt' with Kim

Hey folks, Robyn here.  It's Friday... and the Friday treat for today is a GUEST post by my amazing & wonderful friend Kim.  Seriously, Kim is the best!  But here's the sad thing... she lives clear across the country from me.  Good news, there's a silver lining, Kim happens to be a pen pal of mine!  And (hence the title of our blog) I do love writing letters and getting mail, about as much as I adore a really fantastic picture book, and she happens to be sharing one of my favorites today.  

Here's Kim...

I have three boys. Three very little boys (4,2, and 5 months). Three very little and rambunctious boys. I spend my days constructing tracks for Thomas the train, playing one villain after another, making sure tummies are filled, and trying to find creative ways to burn excess energy.  It may not surprise you then, that one of my favorite times of day is bedtime. Although the fact that I will soon be alone to do as I please is appealing (never mind that time usually consists of cleaning my house), it isn’t the reason I love bedtime so much. My kids will sit down and let me read to them, for a long time. They sit still and listen. They ask me questions. They beg for one more book, and this makes my book loving heart happy. It even makes my bi-weekly trip with all 3 of them to the library worth it. (We only go every other week because it takes me a full 2 weeks to recover and regain my courage to do it again!) I try to encourage my kids to pick different books to read every night, but there are a few that constantly resurface. My post today is on one of those books:

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

There are many things to love about this book and many ways to use it as not only a fun adventure for your children, but also as a learning tool.
In the story a father and his children set off on a bear hunt. They come to several different obstacles on their search and must pass through each one until they finally get to a cave, find the bear, and hightail it home whilst being chased.
There's a lot of repetition in this story. After each obstacle is overcome the same phrases are repeatedWe’re going on a bear hunt.  We’re going to catch a big one.  What a beautiful day!  We’re not scared.  Oh-oh! … (obstacle)…We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!”. The use of repetition is great for children. It allows for and encourages their participation in ‘reading’ the story.

At our house, we’ve also come up with actions for each of the obstacles. Did you know that rubbing one palm against another sounds like swishing through grass? My 4 year old is convinced that he can read this book just because he knows the repetition and the actions! Our favorite part of the book though, is the ending when we have to RUN back through all the obstacles, hurrying to do each action before the bear catches us.

If you haven’t read this book, you need to find it, bring it home, and take your children on a bear hunt. You won’t regret it and your kids will love it!

-Kim

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