Book Review: The Very Cranky Bear (With Cross-Curricular Lesson Ideas)

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The first time I picked up The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland, it was by chance.  My daughter and I were browsing through book store shelves, when the book caught our eyes.  I was SO pleasantly surprised with how fun this book is!

Summary:

This book is about four little animal friends, each possessing their own unique qualities, who run into a cranky bear and come up with creative solutions to cheer him up.

Thoughts:

What I love about this book is that it allows you to pause a draw various lessons from it.  There is a wonderful attention to language, which really displays the effective use of adjectives.  For example some characters are described as having “marvelous antlers”, a “golden mane”, and “fantastic stripes”.  This book also presents young readers with the concept that we all possess unique qualities.  We all matter and no two people (or furry little animals in this case) are the same!  What a wonderful lesson for children!  Nick Bland writes the entire book in rhyme, which I always find as an added plus.  You should definitely add The Very Cranky Bear to your library collection!

Be sure to check the book or box set linked below, and scroll down in this post to see some wonderful cross-curricular lesson ideas to try (these could be grouped together to become a mini-book study).

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Hard cover book
A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Box set

Activity #1: Venn Diagrams

Have students use their lists to make artistic venn diagrams, inspired by these:

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Just Add Clipart
A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Just Add Clipart

 Activity #2: Character Development

This book is filled with lessons regarding self-confidence and accepting diversity.  Here are some activities to try:

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Entirely Elementary
A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Mr. Sunger’s Kinders

Activity #3: Math Integration

Since this book is about the unique qualities each character possesses, kids could choose qualities and then graph how many of their peers possess those qualities.  If you’re homeschooling, you can choose an adjective like “soft” and have the kids go around the house or park and record how many objects are soft or not.  Here are some examples:

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Mrs. Lee’s Kinder Kids
A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Activity #4: Writing Integration (Adjectives)

Students can write a colorful paragraph with their favorite adjectives to describe a topic of their or your choosing.  Alternatively, students can create and develop their own fictional characters, and list adjectives about them.

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from A Literate Life

 Here is a wonderful book series to reinforce the concept of adjectives:

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!

Activity #5: Art Integration

This book makes a note of emphasizing each animal’s unique physical attributes.  This would make a great lesson in portraying texture!  After a discussion on what texture is and how to demonstrate it in art work, students can choose their favorite character from the book and demonstrate their use of texture.  Here are some examples:

A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Splish Splash Splatter Art
A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Apple Sauce and ABCs
A book review and amazing cross-curricular lesson ideas for The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. These lessons are creative and exciting for students!
Taken from Craft Morning

Voila! You have a mini book study! 🙂

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