Literature Unit Ideas for Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik (31 Days of Literature Unit Study Ideas)

In today's post I'm sharing information, ideas, and links that you can use to create a literature unit for one of my favorite books for young children- Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik. During the month of October, I'm sharing 31 Days of Literature Unit Study Ideas. You can find all of the unit studies here. At the bottom of the post, you'll find a link to a set of free printables. Here you can print a suggested daily schedule for using the ideas in your own literature unit study. As I add each post throughout the month, I'll be adding to the available printables as well.


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About the book:

Little Bear is an easy to read introduction to an adorable bear named, of course, Little Bear. The book was written in 1957 and is still a beloved read today. It's an easy read, so it's often used as a first reader. After this original Little Bear book, there are other books to follow about Little Bear, his family, and his friends. The book is divided into four stories- "What Will Little Bear Wear?","Birthday Soup, Little Bear Goes to the Moon", and "Little Bear's Wish."

Little Bear makes a sweet read aloud for even very young children, and kindergartners and early elementary-aged children can often read it independently. It's so fun to read aloud because of the sweet relationship Little Bear has with Mother Bear as he goes about his day to day life.

Fun things to talk about:
  • Little Bear wanted something to put on because he was cold. Do you think bears need clothes on in the winter?
  • What does Little Bear have to eat for his birthday?
  • Why does Little Bear want to go to the moon?
  • What was Little Bear's wish? What would your favorite wish be?
Science activities:

Art activities:
  • Draw a picture of your favorite season.
  • Print four of the bear template found here. Let children draw on each what Little Bear would wear in each season. Get creative and print the bears on cardstock and allow children to decorate with bits of cloth, paper, glitter, markers, etc.
  • Make this cut and paste rocket craft when you read about Little Bear heading to the moon.

Language arts activities:
  • In "Birthday Soup", Little Bear's friends come to help him celebrate his birthday. Talk about Little Bear's friends using descriptive words. Draw a cat, a hen, and a duck. On each picture, describe that friend.
  • Compare real bears and Little Bear from the story. Draw a Venn Diagram to use to compare the two.
  • Practice ordering events in a story. Write out the main plot elements from one of the stories onto sentence strips. Let children put the plot elements into the correct order.
Extra fun:
  • Make soup together like Little Bear's birthday soup.
  • Find the Little Bear Channel on YouTube to watch episodes of the children's show based on the Little Bear books.
  • These cute notebooking pages at Currclick have pages for the four stories in this book as well as other Little Bear stories.

Other books to read:



If you would like to use this literature unit, you can click here for a printable copy of a suggested schedule of activities.



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