Bear Mini-Unit

Lesson 3: Types of Bears

Grade Level: Kindergarten
Teacher of Lesson: Rebekah Calhoun
Approximate Time: One Hour


1. Students will recall the name of each bear type after we have discussed each type.


2. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the color of their favorite type of bear.


3. Students will identify their favorite bear type by raising their hand when asked if their favorite is a certain type.


4. Students will analyze the favorite bear graph by answering questions about sizes of groups.

Analysis and Synthesis

5. Students will explain facts about bears which they have learned in previous lessons when questions are asked while reading the Weekly Reader.


6. Students will analyze the Weekly Reader bear graph by estimating the height shown and comparing heights.



  1. Books--Bears in the Forest, by Karen Wallace
      How Do Bears Sleep?, by E. J. Bird
      BEARS, by Ian Stirling
      Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, by Bill Martin Jr
  2. Weekly Reader pamphletó"Are All Bears Alike?"
  3. Graph with columns labeled "Our Favorite Bears"
  4. Copies of small bears
  5. 4 Sharpie black markers
  6. Tape
  7. Lesson Plan
  8. Scissors for children


  1. Call students to rug area.
  2. Ask them what kind of animal we have been studying and what letter it starts with.
  3. Ask the children if they think all bears are the same.
  4. Ask the children to name kinds of bears. Talk about each kind of bear that is mentioned. When the grizzly, polar, panda, and black bears are mentioned, show them pictures of the bears in the books listed above. (They have already seen a grizzly, polar, and black bear from the books we have read but they may not know the names.) If the children do not know the names of any kinds of bears, tell them I am thinking of a bear that . . . .and give clues. Show them pictures of the bears to give clues also. Discuss the color and living environment of each bear that is mentioned. (*Some scientists believe that a polar bear is a bear but others do not. For this lesson, I have included them as a type of bear.)
  5. Review the four bear types we are learning by setting the books in a row which show pictures of the different types and then saying the names of the bears together.
  6. Tell the children that there is a bear picture at their seat. Tell them that I would like them to color their favorite bear. Give examples such as, "If your favorite bear is the grizzly, what color will you make your bear?"
  7. Tell the children that before coloring, they must write their name with a marker on their bear. Tell them that there will only be one marker per table so they must take turns with it.
  8. Release children by table numbers. Give the marker to the person at each table who has helped out the most by listening to the directions.
  9. Walk around the tables and help students. Give them scissors to cut out their bears when they are done.
  10. Gather students in a circle at the rug area.
  11. Tell the students that we are going to make a graph of our favorite bears.
  12. Ask the students whose favorite bear was the grizzly bear to raise their hands. Let the students tape their bears under the heading for the kind of bear they colored. Repeat for other bear types.
  13. Talk about the graph by counting the number of bears under each type with the children. Ask the children questions such as, "Are there more or less grizzly bears than panda bears?" or "How many bears have some black on them?"
  14. Hand out Weekly Reader entitled, "Are All Bears Alike?"
  15. Read the Weekly Reader with the children. Ask them to identify bear types. Ask them if they can find the word bear. (This may be tough, but some will be able to sight read the word by now. The word bear starts many of the sentences in this pamphlet so it should be easy to point out to the children.) Ask the children questions about the captions under the pictures.
  16. Discuss the chart on the back of the Weekly Reader. (There is a graph showing the height of 3 bears and a child.) Ask the children about how tall the bears and child are. Ask them questions comparing the height of the bears. (For example, "Which bear is taller, the polar or the panda?")
  17. Let the children put the Weekly readers in their mailboxes and get ready for snack time.

Evaluation of student learning:

  1. Were the students able to name the bear types after we discussed them?
  2. Did the students use colors that were appropriate for the types of bears we discussed?
  3. Did the students raise their hand when the type of bear which they colored was mentioned? (Do they know the types, or just the colors?)
  4. Were the students able to answer questions about the sizes of the groups on the favorite bear graph?
  5. Did the students show learning of previous knowledge by explaining facts about bears when the Weekly Reader was read?
  6. Were the students able to estimate the height of the bears and children in the Weekly Reader graph and then compare heights?


Wallace, Karen. Bears in the Forest. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 1994.

Henry, Lucia Kemp. "Black bearís Winter." MAILBOX. Pre/K, Dec/Jan, 1994-95, p. 22. (SMALL BEARS FOR COLORING)

Stirling, Ian., Sierra Club Wildlife Library, BEARS. Toronto, Ontario: Key Porter Books Limited, 1992.

Fireborn, Dennis. Make-A-Book Weekly Reader. "Are All Bears Alike?" The Wildlife Collection, Edition K, October, Week 2. Stamford, Connecticut, 1997.

Website: (Karen Heyen's students helped her make a graph with a picture of each bear type and spell the bear types. She had each student put a bear stamp under their favorite type of bear. I was going to cut pictures from the Weekly Reader and hand out various pictures, then make the bear type graph. My Cooperating teacher gave me the idea of letting the students color their own Bear and then make a graph.)

Martin, Bill Jr. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? New York: H. Holt, 1991.

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