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Imagination and Storytelling #4: Performance Poetry #2

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Lesson Overview:

In this lesson students also learn to tell a story with words and hand movements.  However, the Bear Hunt will serve as a model for the students’ own stories and dramatic performances.  Get ready for some creative thinking and writing once the kids have mastered this one!

Lesson Plan:

Suggested Grades:



Students will understand that poetry is a form of expression and that poetry can tell a story.   Students will learn to perform We’re Going on a Bear Hunt in anticipation of writing and dramatizing their own stories.

Suggested Time:

40-45 minutes

Success Criteria:

Students will be able to perform We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rose and Helen Oxenbury.

Lesson Outline:

1. Introduction:

Remind students that in the last lesson they learned to perform a story, a poem story about rain.  Today they will also learn to perform a piece of poetry, but this story is longer and a bit more challenging!  As provocation questions, you might ask:

  • Who has gone hunting?
  • What did you hunt?
  • How did you get there?
  • What kind of country were you in?
  • What do you think it feels like to be a hunter?
  • Is hunting easy?
  • What do hunters have to take with them?

Tell the children that in this poem, they will be hunting for a BEAR!

2. Main:

Teach We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  If the children have not heard it before, you’ll need to work slowly.  However, if the children know the piece, you can move quickly through the book.

Be sure the children understand:

  • Parts of the poem repeat.
  • There is a pattern in this poem.
  • At some point the poem stops repeating – when is that?
  • What happens after the characters find the object they are hunting?

Tell the students that just as they performed a rain storm last week, other people also like to perform poetry.  In this case, Michael Rosen, one of the creators of this book, has performed the poem.  Let’s watch how Mr. Rosen likes to tell the story of the bear hunt.  (Show short video, link below.)

Ask the children to watch one more time and perform the story with Mr. Rosen.  They will get a big charge out of this and there will be a lot of giggles.  Practice a time or two, then see if you can find an audience, perhaps the teacher or a teaching assistant, to watch the performance.

3. Conclusion:

Congratulate the children on their second performance of a piece of poetry.  Tell them that in the next lesson, they will be writing a poem like this one.  So, they should start thinking of something to hunt!  It will be a lot of fun to write the poem and then act it out for their classmates.

  1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
  2. Computer and projection equipment.
  3. Internet connection.
  4. Michael Rosen’s performance of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gyI6ykDwds  (5:02 minutes

There are several versions of this poem/story.  You don’t have to use the Rosen and Oxenbury one, it’s just the version I had on hand so it was the one I worked with.  But, any version of the story should do.

Recommended books for this lesson:

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Key Terms:

Bears, Poetry, Hunting, Patterns