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December 21, 2007

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear…turn around!

For as long as I can remember jumping rope has been accompanied with the rhyme, "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around!" This rhyme always sparks vivid memories of time spent on the playground in fifth grade with my best friends. We would spend most of our recess coming up with variations to stump our opponent.

During our winter unit in my pre-k class, we spend about a week talking about bears.  We practice hibernating in our caves and experiment with a polar bear’s blubber (shortening in a plastic bag)! Reminded of my childhood rhymes, I decided to play a rhyming game with my students and was amazed at their ability to not only come up with rhyming words but words that (somewhat) appropriately answered my question, "What can a bear do?"

Here are our best ideas:

  • "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, eat your fish. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear wash your dish!"
  • "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, sleep in your cave. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, don’t forget to shave!"
  • "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, swimming in a pool. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, you are so cool!"

It is always amazing how much learning can come out of a fun game or song. To be honest, rhyming was not one of my objectives for this unit and, yet, many of my students are becoming rhyming wizards! They have latched onto a new concept that was modeled for them. I heard a student the other day say, “Fat and hat, that rhymes!” It is those unexpected, unintentional teaching moments that make pre-k so exciting. We are learning through our experiences and growing from each other.


Hi Karissa: We have been rhyming a lot in our class lately too. It's interesting how some take to it like fish to water and others have such a difficult time.
I wanted to give you a link to my student's favorite place on the web when we learn about bears and winter in January; the Polar cams and Panda cams at the San Diego Zoo are fantastic resources for this unit of study: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/zoo/ex_polar_bear_plunge.html
The children beg me each morning and afternoon to "check on the bears" and see if they are awake. Last year we saw them being fed, swimming, playing, and of course- sleeping :) great fun! Be aware of the time difference though, we had to look up what time the zoo opened in San Diego and then figured out what time was best to watch in our time zone, great teachable moment.

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