Music Advocacy Idea Bank

Bear Snores On - Picture Book Activity

Submitted by Connie Herbon, Iowa

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Idea posted 2004-01-07

  •  Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, ill. Jane Chapman, published by Scholastic, Inc.
  •  Assorted instruments: (substitute as appropriate to available resources) bar chimes or wind chimes, large drum of choice with beater, rhythm sticks, finger cymbals, several wood blocks with different sounds, small frame drum with beater, cabasa, small tom-tom, wooden wind chimes, temple or piccolo blocks of three sizes, several large guiros, several maracas or other rattles, alto glock or triangle
  •  Other: Cue card for each instrument, showing which sound will be represented by that instrument. Four reader cards showing dynamics terms: p=soft, mf=medium loud, f=loud, ff=very loud. "Grizzly Bear" a traditional children's song found in Silver Burdett Making Music, K level.
  • Objectives
  •  Play/speak expressively with appropriate dynamics.
  •  Use a variety of sound sources to add expression to literature.
  •  Respond to music with drama.
  • Previous Knowledge
  •  Basic playing techniques and ability to watch for cues.
  •  Previous experiences with dynamic markings and how to apply them to singing/speaking.
  • Time Needed
  •  One to two class periods to cover the book and song.
  • Procedure
  •  Show book cover and briefly discuss title, author, and illustrator.
  •  Show inside cover (cave on snowy hillside) and discuss what students think is happening in the cave.
  •  Introduce each instrument and its character or activity. Distribute cards/instruments to students. Duplicate instruments as needed so all students have at least one to play or have a speaking part.
  •  Discuss levels of dynamics on cards (p, mf, f, ff) and how to apply them to our speaking.
  •  Teacher reads book (unless otherwise noted) with students adding sounds as appropriate. There are no page numbers, so I've included the first word or two from each page with the suggested instrument(s) or other sounds.
  • "In a cave" - Gentle wind chimes or bar chimes.
    "Cuddled" - Beater on large drum plays softly. Suggested rhythm: beat / beat / rest / rest / (slow and repeated as needed). This "snoring" will return throughout the book, getting a bit louder each time.
    "The cold winds" - Selected students sign "wind" and make appropriate sounds.
    (drum continues)
    "An itty-bitty mouse." - Random rhythm stick taps.
    "Mouse squeaks." - Finger cymbals.
    "The coals" - Random "pops" on assorted wood blocks or boxes.
    "But the bear" - Drum beat continued.
    "Two glowing eyes." - Beater on small frame drum "hops" softly.
    "Mouse sips" - Cabasa
    "Hare burps." One beat on small drum.
    "But the bear." - Drum beat continues.
    "A badger." - Wooden wind chime.
    "As they nibble." - High / med / low taps on temple or piccolo blocks.
    "But the bear." - Continued drum.
    "A gopher." - Long, dragged-out scrapes on two guiros plus some rattling sounds.
    "Mole mutters." - All sounds lightly at random.
    "They tweet." - Continued drum.
    "In a cave." - Continued drum and all sounds lightly at random.
    "Then a small pepper fleck." - One alto glock tone or triangle
    "He blows." - All or several voices on big "aaaaa-choo!"
    "And WAKES UP!" - Reader 1: (p) "Bear gnarls snarls." Reader 2: (mf) "Bear roars rumbles." Reader 3: (f) "Bear jumps stomps." Reader 4: (ff) "Bear growls grumbles."
    "Mouse squeaks." - Finger cymbals.
    "But his friends." - Wind chimes.
    Extension Of Activity
  •  Teach the song "Grizzly Bear" without applying dynamic levels. Lead students in discussion of what dynamic levels we should apply to each part of the song. Discuss what we could do to dramatize the song. Sing and dramatize as time and interest allow.

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