“Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes” Curriculum Ideas

Both Bear and Bunny plants tomatoes; each plants them in a different way and also takes care of them differently. Will they both grow juicy red tomatoes?  Find out, when you read this delightful book about planting, spring, sharing and hard-work. 

Science:¬†Use the ideas in the book to help students plant their favorite flowers. Break the class in two groups. Have one group follow bunny’s way of planting and have the other group follow Bear’s planting process. Let the students see which process works. Discuss in¬†circle time¬†why they think one planting process worked and the other one didn’t.¬†

Math: Bring in a few tomatoes and cut them in fours, then have the students count the halves, after they have counted the tomatoes, have them for snack. (Remember hand-washing techniques)

Introduce the¬†letter T, and review it as you read throughout the book. Make a copy of one of the pages in the book that has large print, and have students find and color all the T’s on the page. Make sure you read the book through once before the activity. ( You can also add this activity to the writing center)

Introduce and review the colors Red and Green, then have your students tell you other fruits and vegetables that are Green and Red.

Block Center:¬†In the block center, have students re-create Bear and Bunny’s house. Provide foam and small Popsicle sticks with tomato seed packets attached to them, so that the students can stick them in the foam like a tomato garden.

Manipulative Center: Have the students look through all the manipulative toys for the colors Green and Red and pull them out for review. Let them know that the Red items represent the tomatoes in the book and the Green items represent the stem of the tomatoes.

¬†Library Center:¬†Make a copy of the front of the book. Then give each student a Red oval and green leaves, have them attach them together to make the Red juicy tomatoes from Bear’s garden. You can also have them twist tissue paper to make the weeds from Bunny’s garden.

Dramatic Play: Turn your dramatic play area into a tomato garden. Line the walls with green foam, stick about five or six large sticks in a roll starting at the beginning of the foam to the end. Then attach rope starting at the first stick wrapping it around each stick until you get to the last stick. Attach paper tomatoes to the string using close-pins; stuff tomatoes would work great for this. Provide baskets so that the students can pick the tomatoes and put them in the baskets. Provide gardening gloves, overalls, and straw hats for dress-up. Add a pretend water hose for watering the garden.

If you don’t want to change your home-living area, put the garden outside of the home-living area. Then add a blender and other items from the book in the living area.

Cooking project: In the book instead of Bunny working on his garden he made lemonade. Provide lemons, sugar and water and have your students make lemonade. ( or substitute the lemonade with a healthier choice)

Circle Time:¬†After you have completed the activities re-read the story and see if your students understand why Bunny’s garden didn’t grow. Discuss hard-work and how having fun is okay after everything that one is responsible for is done. Introduce and review the word “Responsibility,” you can also share another book with them on responsibility. Ask your students if they think Bunny knew he had to work hard to get the garden that Bear had? Because at the end of the book, Bunny is still saying that his garden will grow.¬†

I thought that this was a good book for spring, but I think that it can be implemented into any curriculum. I like that the book had so many interesting points; imagination, sharing, spring, responsibility, planting and hard-work. Bunny imaged a garden with big juicy tomatoes, but he wasn’t responsible and didn’t do what he was supposed to do. Bear worked hard to get what he wanted, then shared them with Bunny. Spring is a good time for planting certain fruits and vegetables. 

Hope you enjoyed this story as much as my students and I did.

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