Bear Unit

I am so jealous of all of you first grade teachers who get to do a penguin unit! The 2nd grade teachers claimed that at my school long before I got there, so I miss out. Instead, we study bears. We have a fun time integrating the bear theme into our other subject areas too. Of course we read tons of fiction and nonfiction books. The class fills out a chart comparing pandas, polar bears, black bears and brown bears throughout the unit. 

We also identified where each bear lived on the world map. 

We had so much fun comparing the sizes of bears. First, we measured using a yard stick and yarn. We hung the string up in our class to see how tall each bear was when they are standing upright. The kids love to see which bear is closest to their height.

The next day, students link cubes to match the size of the string. 

Then they broke up the cubes into tens and ones. They recorded their results by coloring in the tens and ones on their worksheet.

We read the cutest book called Panda & Polar Bear. After reading, we talked about why each bear lives in a habitat that is just right for them. As a class, we completed this T-chart to illustrate that point. I read each strip with a special adaptation and students decided if it belonged to polar bear or panda bear.

After some great discussion, students completed a Venn diagram comparing the two bears. 

Earlier in the unit, we did a  whole-class sentence scrambler. Every student got a word so everyone participated!

You can download individual bear sentence scramblers here!


  1. Hello there! Great stuff here! I couldn't get the informational packet to download. Could you please email it to

    Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I sent you an email with the attachment, and hopefully I fixed the problem so you can download it here as well. So much to learn in this blogging world! :)

    Thanks for checking it out!

  3. I wish our school would pick animals to study......then students wouldn't get bored or "know everything there is to know so I don't wanna read anymore about...."! Thanks for all the great ideas!!!

  4. Love this - even for third. Do you by chance have a clearer picture of the T chart on adaptations? I would love to use it next week. Thanks!

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