Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

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WHAT DO YOU HEAR?

“I hear children…

growling like a polar bear,

roaring like a lion,

snorting like a hippopotamus,

fluting like a flamingo,

braying like a zebra,

hissing like a boa constrictor,

trumpeting like an elephant,

snarling like a leopard,

yelping like a peacock,

bellowing like a walrus…

that’s what I hear”

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In Bill Martin Jr.’s engaging story Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, children go on an adventure filled journey at the zoo. Each page the children encounter a new animal matched with its sound. Even though the kids hear all of the animals making the noises, the zookeeper in fact hears all of the children embodying all of the animals and their sounds!

This book will be great for reading circles because of its active learning style. Children will enjoy this book due to the fact that it gives them the opportunity to actively engage in a story whilst making fun animal noises. If planning a trip to the zoo, this would be a great book to introduce beforehand. For kindergarten to first grade age groups, a craft activity could also accompany this book, such as drawing animal faces on paper plates. Kids would love to use their newly learned sounds to act out their paper plate animal. To top it all off, the images drawn by Eric Carle are guaranteed to grasp every child’s attention, as the animals are large and show great contrast with the background.

So now teachers and readers, what do you hear?

Blog post by Elizabeth Gunckle and Nichole Forde

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