We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Literature Unit Study Ideas

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you’d like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you’re reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic children’s book. Although it’s written for younger kids, even elementary-aged kids can have fun with this book which uses repetition and a rhythmical writing style to draw kids in. There are so many fun things that you can do to extend your reading of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and use it as an opportunity for learning with the kids.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt literature unit study
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Book Information

Title- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Author-Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen

Recommended ages– preschool and kindergarten

Synopsis- A family of four young children and their father set out on a bear hunt, and they’re definitely not afraid. They travel through grass, a river, swampy mud, a dark forest, a snowstorm and a cave on their journey. With rhythm and sound effects their story draws readers in to go on the hunt as well.

Language Arts

Sequencing- Write the different parts of the story on pieces of paper (about a half sheet for each)- “Wavy grass”, “Cold river”, “Oozy mud”, “Dark forest”, “Swirling snowstorm”, “Gloomy cave”, “Back in bed”. Have kids draw an illustration for each. Then mix the pictures up and let kids put them in the correct order of the book.

Prepositions- The story has many prepositions. If kids are old enough, take time to explain what a preposition is. Even if kids are too young to understand the word “preposition” they can understand the concept. Draw and cut out (or print) a small bear picture. Draw a stationary object- a tree, cave, log. Have the kids place the bear in relation to the object and talk about direction words- over the log, around the tree, inside the cave, above the log.

Storyboard- Kids can practice sequencing and word recognition with a We’re Going on a Bear Hunt storyboard. (Find an example in this post.) You could use the free printables here as pictures for your board.

Mini book- Print this mini book that kids can color and practice reading.

Word recognition- Use the ideas in this post to have your own word hunt. (I would use words from the story as the words kids are hunting for.)

Science and Math

Habitats- Talk about what a habitat is and what kind of habitat in which a bear lives. This article from National Geographic kids has some good information. Have kids create a bear habitat in a shoe box and let a stuffed bear live there.

Animals- Watch this video to learn more about bears.

Ecology- As the kids in the book travel, they encounter a variety of biomes. These websites will help you talk with kids about each. You can find books about each biome in the booklist below.

History/Social Studies

Exploring feelings- Give kids some circles you’ve drawn as blank faces. As you read the story, have kids illustrate the faces for each section to show how the children were feeling in that section. Discuss feelings and things that make us feel happy, sad, afraid.

Mapping- Use the printables and ideas here to create a 3D map for the story.

Explorers- Read books about explorers (linked below); This site has some explorer activities and information for older kids.

Crafts and Fun

Watch the author perform the story in this video.

Collect some dress up clothes and props and act out the story.

Hide bears around your house and send kids on a bear hunt. (This would be especially fun if you read this book with a group.)- from the Scholastic website

Make these trays for some awesome sensory fun featuring each section of the book.

Print and cut out this jigsaw puzzle of the book’s cover. (Print it on cardstock to make it last longer.)

Make a map and binoculars for your bear hunt with the ideas from this post.

This graphic has some good ideas for creating sound effects to go along with a retelling of the story.

Literature unit study for We're Going on a Bear Hunt


In 1492 (explorers, Columbus)
Wild About Bears (bears, kindergarten and up)
Hibernation (bears and their habitats)
Over in the Arctic (biomes, tundras, snow)
Arctic A-Z (biomes, tundra, animals in the cold)
Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book (biomes, forest, trees)
Marshes and Swamps (biomes, swamps)
A Wetland Habitat (biomes, swamps and wetlands)
In the Tall, Tall Grass (biomes, grasses)
A Grassland Habitat (biomes, grassland)
Where the River Begins (biomes, rivers)
Cave (biomes, caves)
Caves and Caverns (biomes, caves)

Other Resources

Homeschool Creations has a printables pack based on We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Don’t forget to check out the other literature units in the 31 days series.

Literature unit studies for kids

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