Reading Together

Storybook Guide for Ciara Gavin’s “Room for Bear”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Room for Bear.”
Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

Bear befriends a family of little ducks, but soon discovers that their house is too small and crowded for him to live there with them. Bear and the ducks go on a quest to find a new home big enough for all of them but they cannot find one that is just the right size. Very sad, Bear worries that he will never find a home for him and his beloved ducks. Will large Bear find the perfect place to live with his small family?

Words to Learn

MATH WORDS
crowded, fit, match

OTHER WORDS
 belonged, suited, nuisance

About the Math

Although Room for Bear does not have many math words, the story and illustrations present ideas related to size comparison and capacity. In the story, children can learn:

  • To notice and compare the size of the animals using phrases such as bigger than, taller than, shorter than, heavier than, and lighter than. 
  • To match the capacity of the home with the size of the animal. A home that is big enough for Bear is too large for the small ducks. A home that is just right for the ducks is too small for the large bear.

Math Talk During Reading

  • COMPARE THE SIZE OF THE ANIMALS
    “I see that the bear is taller than all the ducks. Are the ducks lighter or heavier than the bear?”
  • EXAMINE THE SIZE OF EACH HOME
    “The ducks found a home in a hole underground. Why does this home fit the ducks, but not the bear?”
  • CONSIDER THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION
    “The bear says they are a perfect fit. How does the bear solve their problem?” Help your child see that there are now two homes next to each other, with part of the smaller home inside the bigger home!

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

Activity After Reading

  • MIXING AND MATCHING
    Find a few empty containers of different sizes, such as boxes or bowls, and a few objects of different sizes. Have your child match each object with the container that fits the object best based on the size of the object and container. Do any objects stick out of containers that are too small? Do any of the smaller containers fit inside a bigger container?