These printable polar bear hats are perfect for motivating children re-tell the story Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle.
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Earlier this week, I stood shivering on my front porch while my kids ran around in the freezing rain. School was canceled for dangerous road conditions, but it was the perfect day to bundle up and take a polar bear run – that’s what I called it.
No, it wasn’t that kind of polar bear activity. The kids were bundled up with lots of layers, and they were only outside long enough to earn mugs of hot chocolate. Our Texas blood is thin when it comes to cold weather.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear
A few years ago, we’d have read aloud one of my favorite polar bear themed books to go with our run. As preschoolers my kids loved books like Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear (affiliate) written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle.
The story isn’t really about polar bears, though. It just starts with one. Then, like its sister book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, the story flows from one animal to the next with the repetitive elements, “[animal name], what do you hear? I hear . . .”
Rather than colors describing the animals, though, Martin uses animal sounds – I love that he’s chosen big words like “braying,” “trumpeting,” and “bellowing.” They make reading it aloud a lot of fun!
It’s also a fun book to use for story retelling. Retelling is an important early literacy activity for developing reading comprehension and vocabulary.
Polar Bear Retelling Hats
You can use these printable crowns just for fun, or as a story retelling prop. Kids can follow the animals around the hat band, retelling the story as they go. To grab your copy, click on the blue Books and Giggles rectangle at the very bottom of this post.
There are two versions of the hats. One has the animals already printed on it. The other has blank spaces for the children to match and paste in the pictures themselves.
You can have the kids color it, too. My girls helped me make ours extra cute by gluing cotton to the polar bear (about half an unrolled cotton ball per hat). Your kids can get a little extra glue practice that way as well.
(If they could use even more practice, you can check out this popular story-inspired glue practice activity.)
It won’t be polar bear weather here for much longer – I hope! February 27th is International Polar Bear Day, so we may have to have one more polar bear run, regardless of the weather. The point of that day is learning about how conserving energy can help polar bears, so we’ll have to turn down the thermostat and snuggle up under a blanket and read a big kid polar bear book together. Oh, and have more hot chocolate, of course.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this Polar Bear, Polar Bear activity and that your students gain valuable retelling practice from it as well as look adorable in their printable crowns.
P.S. You may also like these differentiated nonfiction polar bear emergent readers in my store. They come in 3 different levels and are super-fast to prep. (The link above takes you to my own little store. Or, you can get them from me on Teachers Pay Teachers. If you’re outside the U.S. you’ll need to buy on TpT because I’m not yet set up to handle orders from countries with VAT tax.)
Want to save this idea for later? The photo below is the perfect size for pinning: