Going on a Bear Hunt - A Teacher's Guide
Going on a Bear Hunt - Song Lyrics, Activities, Lesson Plans, Worksheets
is a classic camp and circle-time song and story book for preschoolers and primary-age children. The clap-slap song, with lots of hand motions, is about a hunting party that bravely sets out to find a bear. The party encounters various obstacles like tall grass, a river, mud, a blizzard, and a dark cave before finding the bear. Once they find the bear, their courage leaves them and they hurriedly retrace their steps back home. Going on a Bear Hunt is fun as an icebreaker, a mini-lesson in rhythm or attentiveness, or as a unique way to introduce a lesson about bears. Going on a Bear Hunt
Photo by Emily Walker
Do you know the Bear Hunt Song?
Please vote now on whether you know the Bear Hunt Song.
Take the Poll
"Going on a Bear Hunt" Lyrics
Do the Bear Hunt Chant
Like most songs of this sort, there are many different versions. Here are some sample lyrics, but feel free to make up your own. That's part of the fun.
Going on a Bear Hunt (tap legs in walking rhythm)
Gonna catch a big one
I'm not afraid
What's that up ahead? (shade eyes)
Oh no! Tall grass
Can't go over it (hands high)
Can't go under it (hands low)
Gotta go through it
Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish (wave arms back and forth)
Repeat all of the above, and replace the part in italics with
A wide river
Splish splash, splish splash, splish splash, splish splash (swimming motions)
Squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish (stepping motions)
A dark forest
Stumble, trip, stumble, trip, stumble, trip, stumble, trip
A big snowstorm
Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo (wave arm, cover face)
A dark cave
Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe (tiptoe stepping motions)
It's a bear!
Back through the cave
Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe (tiptoe stepping motions, double time)
(Retrace steps at double time)
We're not going on a bear hunt again!
Photo by Ted
"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" Book - The One to Have
This book with lyrics by Michael Rosen and Pictures by Helen Oxenbury is the best of several based on the Bear Hunt chant. I use it with my students and they love it. We have it in Japanese too for my English language learners. Be sure to check out the video of the author reading (performing) this story.
"A father and his four children--a toddler, a preschool boy and two older girls--go on the traditional bear hunt based on the old camp chant: "We're going to catch a big one. / What a beautiful day! / We're not scared. / Oh-oh! Grass! / Long, wavy grass. / We can't go over it. / We can't go under it. / Oh, no! / We've got to go through it!" The family skids down a grassy slope, swishes across a river, sludges through mud and, of course, finally sees the bear, who chases them all back to their home." -from Publsher's Weekly
Michael Rosen Performs "We're Going on a Bear Hunt"
Going on a Bear Hunt Printables and Downloads - Use these resources for your "Bear Hunt" lessons
- "Going on a Bear Hunt" Printables
This site has a printable story pack, word and picture cards, banners, and even letters of the alphabet and numbers on bear pawprints. Lots of great printables for your "bear hunt" theme.
- "Going on a Bear Hunt" Feltboard Patterns
Feltboard patterns for "Going on a Bear Hunt" or lion hunt.
- Printable Circle Time Poster for "Going on a Bear Hunt"
Print out these pages to make a "Bear Hunt" poster.
- Printable Emergent Reader of "Bear Hunt"
Print out this simplified version of the story for your emergent readers. They can even color the pictures themselves.
- Printable 3D "Bear Hunt" Map
Print out these pictures and make a 3D "Bear Hunt" map.
"Going on a Bear Hunt" Activities and Lesson Plans - A collection of great lesson plans
- "Bear Hunt" Lesson Plan from Scholastic
Children will develop creative-thinking, literacy and language skills as they dramatize and extend the story. Several activities, art projects, and suggestions for further reading about bears.
- "Bear Hunt Lesson" Plans
These lesson plans provide a week's worth of shared reading and shared writing exercises for "We're Going on a Bear Hunt."
- Build the Setting of the "Bear Hunt" Story
A week's worth of hands-on activities to build the setting for the "Bear Hunt" story.
- "Bear Hunt" Unit Study
This is a supplemental unit study from the San Diego County Office of Education. The focus is on science, reading comprehension, speaking, and writing.
- More "Bear Hunt" Worksheets andLesson Plans
Three lesson plans and several printable worksheets for "We're Going on a Bear Hunt."