Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Karma Wilson’s “Bear Counts”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book, “Bear Counts.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

As bear and mouse are sharing breakfast, they count objects all around them, such as one giant dragonfly and two sweet apples. As bear counts the various objects, children are invited to count along.

There are four turtles on a log and four hopping frogs. Illustration from “Bear Counts.”

Words to Learn

NUMBER WORDS AND SYMBOLS
one, two, three, four, five, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

ANIMAL WORDS
dragonfly, hare, raven, owl, wren, muskrat, badger, mole, gopher, crawdad

About the Math

“Bear Counts” is a counting book that introduces numbers one through five. As children count along with bear, they can learn:

  • Each object is counted once and only once.
  • The last number we count tells us the total number of objects.
  • How to name the counting words in order: one, two, three, four, five.
  • How to read the written numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
There are five ducks in the water and five river otters. Illustration from “Bear Counts.”

Math Talk During Reading

  • WHEN YOU COUNT THE NUMBER OF OBJECTS, STRESS THE LAST NUMBER YOU COUNT
    One, two, THREE. There are THREE bumblebees altogether.
  • HAVE CHILDREN SHOW THE NUMBER WITH THEIR FINGERS
    How many fish are there? Can you show me the number four using your fingers?
  • POINT TO THE WRITTEN NUMERAL WHEN READING THE NUMBER WORD
    There are five ducks. This is the number 5.
  • PREDICT WHAT NUMBER COMES NEXT
    So far we have seen the numbers one, two, three, four. What number comes next? How do you know?

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • LOOK FOR WRITTEN NUMERALS AT HOME. YOU WILL HAVE TO HELP YOUR CHILD SEE THE NUMBER OF OBJECTS. SOMETIMES IT’S HARD TO FIND THEM
    Let’s try to find some numbers in the kitchen! Let’s look carefully.
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