Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Eat Like a Bear

Jenkins, Steve (Illustrator)
Macmillan 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780805090390 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

figurative language, recurring patterns, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This non-fiction tale, written in the second person, encourages readers to imagine what it would be like to be a bear foraging for food from spring through to hibernation in winter. “Can you eat like a bear?/Awake in April. Find food./But where?” We follow a brown bear through the months and seasons and learn about the foods these omnivores eat and how they hunt for meals. From horsetail reeds to carrion of a bison, dandelions to cutworm moths, pinecones to huckleberries, their varied feeding habits are covered.

Striking illustrations use cut paper collages with varied textures that give the bear’s fur a woolly look; Japanese fibres are tufty clouds, spindly grass or whiskers. Artwork suggests motion, with animals running across the frame of the page, and hinged limbs giving an almost stop-motion feel to the bears. Earth-toned colours and lovely hues of blues, yellows and greens appealingly offset the bear’s brown coat.

Text is simple and informative, filled with sound words and poetry: “a squirrel’s pinecone stash./Nibble, shred, crunch, and smash.” The repetition of “Can you eat like a bear? … Find food./But where?” gives continuity to the seasons and pulls the reader into the action.

A “Meet the Bears” section at the back is packed with detailed information on how bears eat and search for food.

  •  As a group, brainstorm what you know about bears and record your discussion using a graphic organizer. As you read, revise and add to your chart.
  •  Act out the different activities the bear undertakes in the story. Imagine what he or she might be thinking and feeling.
  •  

    Notice the interesting action words the author uses. Make inferences about the word meanings based on your knowledge of bears and clues in the illustrations.

  •  What activities does the bear do in different seasons? What activities do you do in different seasons? Write and draw to compare.
  •  

    As a group, brainstorm what you know about what bears eat.

  •  

    As the text is read aloud, notice and join in for the patterns.

  •  

    During a second reading, take note of the foods the bear eats or tries to eat. How are they described?

  •  

    Identify words you don't know and add them to a class list. Look up the words and share the information so that everyone understands the general meaning.

  •  

    In the same style, create a text and describe your own diet as it changes by the season. (Think strawberries in summer, turkey at Christmas, etc.). Think of a pattern that you will use. Use rich words to describe the food you eat. You can prepare class or small group versions.

  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology