Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Activity Overview: 

The teacher uses a pattern book as a springboard for the students to recall information, classify and brainstorm ideas on a specific topic. Students are asked to think of what vehicle they would like to draw and how that vehicle looks. The teacher keeps it reality-based as she makes sure that each boat has some water, bicycles have handlebars, and cars have a road to drive down. A pattern book will be created using the "vehicle" topic, with students recreating their drawings on the computer program, KidPix Deluxe.


Students will be able to :

  1. communicate and express ideas through drawings that represent the stated ideas
  2. follow and recreate a pattern
  3. make classifications

We are using a pattern book as a springboard to recall information and then classify and brainstorm ideas on a selected topic. We create our own version of a pattern book by using the brainstormed ideas, draw them on paper, and finally create a slide show on the computer.

(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the following activities/standards will appear in the video clips used.)

I needed a copy of the book, chart paper and markers in two colors for the web/list and drawing paper for each child.


Curriculum Standards from http://www.intime.

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Performance Indicators from http://cnets.iste

We brainstormed ideas for vehicles after hearing the book: The Wheels on the Bus.  (We use the Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series Invitation to Literacy.  We are on the theme: Going Places and this is the book from that theme.)

English Language Arts: 3


I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr. for the pattern.

English Language Arts: 6


We recalled what was on the brainstormed list and added to it.

English Language Arts: 7


Students selected what they wanted to draw, by choosing one vehicle from the list.

English Language Arts: 12


As they drew their pictures, which would be assembled in a book, students came to the computer, one at a time, to draw the same picture to be saved on KidPix Deluxe.

English Language Arts: 12

Grades PreK-2:  1, 9

The KidPix pictures were arranged into a slide show, text was added as well as a digital picture of the class.

English Language Arts: 8


The students recorded the text.

English Language Arts: 1, 8


They had a finished slide show that was transferred to VHS tape.

English Language Arts: 8



RF Modulator (for transfer to VHS tape)
various cables
VHS tape

KidPix Deluxe. Available:
TView (for transfer to VHS tape) Available:

Martin Jr., Bill (1983). Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? Holt, Rinehart, & Winston: New York.

I assess the students by their ability to:

  1.    actively participate in the "reading" of a pattern book
  2.    contribute to a brainstormed list
  3.    express ideas through drawings

Judith Robinson, William Davison Elementary, Detroit, MI

This activity meets the Detroit Public School's Language Arts Exit Skills in Writing, Reading and Listening/Speaking.  We are re-enacting.  This activity would take two class periods.  The first day would involve reading The Wheels on the Bus and brainstorming a list of vehicles.  The second day would involve reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?, re-calling the list and adding to it.  Then, the students select which vehicle to draw and complete that task.  The pictures drawn on KidPix would be done on an individual basis during various parts of the school day - bell time, free selection time, even when the others are drawing during the second day.  This could take up to one week to complete.  My own time would be used to "assemble" the slide show and type the text.  The "recording session" would come next and be completed in 2 - 3 shorter sessions (about 10 minutes each).  Transfer to a VHS tape can be done as the slide show is shown on the computer.

This is my second year using Brown Bear as the springboard for a slide show.  It is great to use because the children pick up the pattern very easily.  I use the story early in the year for color recognition so they are familiar with it.  There are also many different versions to use with it.  Last year we just used everyday objects.  This year we classified, tying it in with our Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series.  Recording is probably the most difficult aspect of this.  (I use KidPix Deluxe and could have "the computer" read the text but my students' voices are much better!)  I had one student become so involved in the pattern last year that by the time he needed to just say his name, he said:  I see Ronald Dicus looking at me!  Some students have trouble remembering what to say (immediately after I say it).  Not all of my students are fluent in English.  Do not whisper what you want them to say - they will whisper it back to you!  Work out a system with the students so they know when to say what is to be recorded - tapping a shoulder, pointing, nodding, etc.

Technology Resources:
KidPix and KidPix Deluxe programs are the ideal level for my students.  One computer in my classroom (of 2) supports it.  I started with KidPix and was able to upgrade this year.  The options are unlimited, if you ask my students!  They are not afraid to experiment and have discovered more stamps, fonts, sizes and lines than I knew were there!

I do a lot of book extensions and creative writing with my students.  We can easily produce 20 class books a year.  Brown Bear happens to be a favorite of mine.  It also meets several of the Detroit Public School's Exit Skills in Language Arts.  The students are following a pattern, communicating, classifying and creating a book and slide show.

School Background Information:
The city of Detroit has a population of just fewer than 1 million.
Many of my students’ family members are unemployed.  Some are enrolled in trade schools.  Some work in fast food restaurants, factories, drug stores and nursing homes.  When they work, their hours may be the midnight shift or the late afternoon shift so various family members are responsible for the care of these children.  It is often inconsistent. The Pre-School through 5th grade building has approximately 920 students.  There are 263 schools in the Detroit Public School District with approximately 170,000 students. Twenty three percent of our students have limited English fluency.  Our ethnic breakdown is:  77% African American, 22% Bengali (from Bangladesh) and 1% Eastern European/Caucasian. There are several ethnic "pockets" in Detroit - Hispanic, Hmong, Arab, etc - ours happens to have an enormous influx of Bengali students.

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components Highlighted in This Activity
(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the elements from the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that are described below will appear in the video clips used.)

Students were actively involved in an Enjoyable Setting using Patterns and making connections.  They used prior knowledge to create a brainstormed list of vehicles and were Thinking Together.  They interpreted information and were able to Communicate their knowledge. They are capable of Operating a Computer and creating the means for a Multi-Media Presentation.  There was also evidence of effective Classroom Management and Knowledge of Student Characteristics.

Student Characteristics:
My students are enrolled in the Extended-Day Kindergarten class in an urban school.  They attend school four full days a week.  They are given the Brigance 5-year-old test at the beginning of the year.  My class is composed  of students with the lowest test scores.  Most of them have never been in a classroom setting prior to my class and have poor communication skills.  Almost 1/3 of my class is from Bangladesh and do not speak English when they start school.  The majority is African-American.  I have one white student this year.  75% of my class receives free lunch.  The only computer experience my students encounter is in my classroom.  The first semester is basically free exploration for them.  The second semester involves incorporating story extensions with their computer skills and creating slide shows.  The results are amazing! 

How the Activity Has Evolved Over Time:
We are creating more slide shows each year.  (This is my 3rd year using KidPix.)  I am finding that the possibilities are endless!  We are using math, sequencing, rhyming, songs, alphabet, experience stories and incorporating digital pictures.  I am supporting learning with technology - an important goal in an urban setting.  It helps represent what the students know and what they are learning.  Our major obstacles are time and only one computer to use with KidPix.  A new IMAC has been ordered and should be here before the end of the school year so that at least two projects will be able to be in progress at the same time.

(Learning activity format adapted from National Educational Technology Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology