Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Stan and Jan Berenstain’s “Inside Outside Upside Down”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Inside Outside Upside Down.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

In this simple story, Brother Bear gets in a box that gets turned upside down, taken outside, and put on a truck. Children learn about spatial words when the box goes outside, falls off the truck, and Brother Bear lands right-side up.

A bear uses a trolley to move a box. Illustration from “Inside Outside Upside Down.”

Words to Learn

SPATIAL WORDS
inside, outside, upside down, falling off, right-side up

About the Math

This story introduces children to spatial ideas. As they take a journey with Brother Bear in the box, children can learn:

  • To describe the location of objects using spatial words, such as inside.
  • To describe the direction of objects using spatial words, such as falling off.
  • To name spatial words that are the opposite of one another, such as upside down and right‑side up.
A bear moves a box out of a house and towards a car outside. Illustration from “Inside Outside Upside Down.”

Math Talk During Reading

  • TALK ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE PICTURE, EMPHASIZING WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS
    Do you see Brother Bear getting in the box? Where is the box going? How do you know?
  • CONSIDER OPPOSITES
    What is the opposite of going on the truck? What is the opposite of getting inside the box?
  • MAKE PREDICTIONS
    What might happen next in the story? If the box is upside down and we turn it around, will it still be upside down?

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

Activity After Reading

  • TRY WRITING A STORY OF YOUR OWN USING THE SAME WORDS
    Let’s write our own story using the words inside, outside, and upside down.