We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Katie Lapensee - Journal # 2: September 29, 2015

About We're Going on a Bear Hunt - by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury (1989)

Why I Chose This Book

This book means a lot to me as I read it to the kindergarten class I volunteered with for 2 years. I had so much fun reading it to them (in groups of 3-4) and eventually they learned the words and were able to read the story with me. The story is about a family who is going on a bear hunt and on their journey they face a bunch of obstacles (for example, they need to walk through mud and snowstorms). At the end, when they finally find the bear, they get scared and run back home, however to get back home they have to go through the same obstacles they faced on the way there.

Although this story doesn’t rhyme, it can still be read in “a bouncy way” as it has a tune-like structure that makes it fun for students and can help bring the story to life (Mem Fox, n.d.). Therefore, this is a story that really needs to be read-aloud to the students and should be read with joy and real enjoyment (Mem Fox, n.d.). When I read this story to the kindergarteners, they were learning the words through the musical language (example: "we're going on a bear hunt, we're going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, I’m not scared”), the repetition of words (example: "Stumble trip! Stumble trip! Stumble trip!” and "We can't go under it, we can't go over it, we have to go through it") and also the repetitive nature of the story. Since they go through the same obstacles on the way to the bear and after they find the bear, the students were able to remember that this page is the same as the one from the beginning and can recall the words from that page “Uh oh mud!...we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we have to go through it”. It is important that there is lots of repetition in books that are for young children, therefore We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a perfect story to help foster a child’s literacy skills (Mem Fox, n.d.).

This book also has cueing systems as the pictures help students recognize the words (for example: long grass, thick mud), therefore it is a great book to help students read. It uses a lot of descriptive words (example: a big dark forest, thick oozy mud) which can help a student build their vocabulary. Also, the pictures of this story are very creative and appealing to students, thus it is easy for students to be engaged in the story and follow along with the activities conducted in class.

How This Book Can Be Integrated with Other Subjects

This book is an amazing story for enhancing literacy skills among students (especially kindergarteners. The repetition of words helps students learn the words through recognition and memorization, therefore it can increase a student's vocabulary. The most obvious subject for this book is Literature, however Art can also be integrated into an activity. Geography can also be integrated through the use of various types of weather that the family travels through. Finally, science can be integrated through food chains in the story.

Activities and Grade Levels

There is various activities that can be done with this story and most of them would be for a kindergarten - grade 1 classroom. For Literature and Arts, students can recreate the story by putting the events in the correct sequence and drawing an illustration that represents each event. They would have to reflect on the different parts of the story and use their own imagination to create a colourful drawing that represents the correct event in the story. To integrate Social Science - Geography, teachers can have students learn about different types of weather (example: snow storms from the story) and share this in groups. They can learn about how snowflakes are created and then create their own unique snowflakes in class by cutting different shapes in paper. Finally, to integrate Science and Arts, teachers can have students create food chains that include the family (people) and bears, to show where different animals lie. They can have them draw and colour in the animals and even have them create a web food chain where the animals connect with each other.


Australian Medical Students’ Association. (nd.). We’re Going on a Bear Hunt [online image]. Retrieved from https://www.amsa.org.au/amsa-blog/20141006-were-going-on-a-bear-hunt/

Fox, M. (n.d.) Mem Fox Writing, teaching, learning, loving, living: Ten read-aloud commandments. Retrieved from http://memfox.com/for-parents/.

Rosen, M. & Oxenbury, H. (1989). We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. London: Walker Books Ltd.

Scholastic (n.d.). We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Book and CD [online image]. Retrieved from http://clubs-kids.scholastic.co.uk/products/Were-Going-on-a-Bear-Hunt-Book-and-CD-Michael-Rosen-9781406328240

Taylor, P. & Taylor, L. (n.d.). Aquarelle The Collection: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt [online image]. Retrieved from http://www.aquarellepublishing.co.uk/artistpage.aspx?id=55

Walker. (n.d.) We’re Going on a Bear Hunt [online image]. Retrieved from http://www.walker.co.uk/We-re-Going-on-a-Bear-Hunt-9780744523232.aspx