|Author/Illustrator: Bruce Degen
Summary: A boy and a rhyme-spouting bear romp through a berry world, looking for berries as they go. This rollicking board book invites kids to relish a whimsical world where a berry hunt is the motivating force for celebration.
Literature Based Unit Study Written by Ami Brainerd
Bible Memory Verse: Psalm
"O taste and see that the Lord is good"
Language: Nonsense Words
This book teaches us to have fun with language! Many of the words end in "berry." Just for fun, call your child by their name and add berry to the end. You can do this all week with different objects --
Time for your bathberry!
Go to bedberry.
We are going to go in the carberry.
I wonder when your dadberry will be home?
Have fun with this! Hopefully, you and your student will share lots of giggles!
Language: Introducing Rhyme
I am not really sure how to introduce rhyme to this age group, but something I did while reading this book to my son was to leave words out and see if he could remember them. I only left out a word that rhymed with the last word or phrase. Since we have read this book so often, he is able to fill in all the blanks, but I also think it's training his ear to hear that the last word I said is similar in sound to the word I am expecting him to say. If anyone has anything to add to this lesson, please send it my way!
Look through the illustrations together and let your student list all the food items she sees. I think there are some on each page; I remember seeing marshmallows, butter, crackers, bread, jelly rolls, etc. (We read this book FIVE times today, you would think I would remember more!)
Tracking (Pre-Reading): Hatberry
On each page the bear and boy have their hats, but they aren't always wearing them. Can your little student find the hats in each picture? Are there other animals wearing hats, too? Can your student find the hats even in the shadows?
Compound Word Activity
Can your student identify the compound words Bruce Degen has constructed?
Jamberry Activity Card
ABC Berries Printable from bry-back manor
"One berry, Two berry...Three berry, Four berry"
You may want to teach your student to count to ten and to recognized the numbers 1-10. Another good concept to introduce is that each number represents a certain quantity. Maria Montessori used a spindle box to teach this, but you can do it in many different ways. If you want to start small, simply tell your child, this is one and show him one ________ (penny, toy, paintbrush, key, fruit snack, etc.). Then, show your child two by holding two of ___________ in your hand. You may want to continue on with three-four then stop. If your child is interested, you can show them 1-10. To reinforce this concept, you can make a spindle box or something similar. We have two different kinds of these "spindle boxes" that I made for my son. The first one is little silverware storage rectangles that snap together (from the dollar store). They were clear, so I labeled them 1-10. My son puts the correct amount of popsicle sticks in each one (again, you may only want to introduce 1-4). I taught him by placing the right number in my hand and saying, "This is one," and placing it in the correct container. Followed by, "this is two," while holding two popsicle sticks and placing them in the correct container, etc (I never counted them aloud for him as I wanted this to become a visual exercise for him). The other type of "spindle box" that we have is a cookie tray with little square (clear) storage containers on it labeled 0-9 (I glued the containers down in place with hot glue). We use little blue polished rocks and use the same concept, but it's interesting to him because it's a bit different. You could also use a muffin tin and whatever type of object you want for the quantity exercise. This is an important concept to teach. Children need to understand that numbers represent something; this will help them with basic addition and subtraction in future years. Also, it only took me a few minutes (and a few bucks) to make these things, but my son can get them down and plays with them independently! He knows if he has a mistake because I only have (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9) total popsicle sticks out. If he gets to number nine and doesn't have nine sticks, he has to go back and figure out where he went wrong. He absolutely loves these exercises.
Strawberry Basket Math from bry-back manor
Print Patterns Worksheet
Cut out the berries; have your student glue the berry that comes next in the pattern.
After reading the book, close it and ask your student if they can remember some of the berries in the book (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry). Open the book and identify each one for your student. As the days go on in this unit, ask her to identify the each berry. If possible, try to have some different berries on hand and have a taste test! If you can't locate the different types of berries mentioned, you may want to buy jelly/jam in a few of the flavors and taste-test those.
You could also try planting some berry plants and watching their growth.
Science: Taste Buds
If you taste-tested berries, you may want to discuss taste buds and that God made your student's tongue for tasting. You can expand your pre-schoolers vocabulary by introducing him to salty, sweet, bitter, and sour foods.
Salty-- lick a potato chip
Sweet-- remind him that the berries were sweet, you may also want to give him a piece of candy (save the best for last!)
Sour-- lick a lemon
Bitter-- try grapefruit, unsweetened chocolate, or coffee (maybe not on the coffee!)
Motor: Make Berry Yummy "Pies"
You will need at red, blue, or purple construction paper (or you can use all three), glue, scissors, and a paper plate (or disposable pie plate) for this activity. Let your child cut out berries from the construction paper (it doesn't really matter if they can't cut very well-- just a small piece of paper that resembles a berry). After they have cut plenty of berries, let them paste them on to the paper or pie plate for a berry pie!
Music and Movement: Jamberry Dance
You will need some crepe paper streamers for this activity. Show your student Bruce Degen's illustration of the bear, the boy, the ponies and the lambs dancing in the meadow with streamers. Then, turn on some music (something happy) and dance with your streamers just like the animals and boy in the story. You can introduce opposites as you dance (hold your streamer high, hold your streamer low; dance fast, dance slow; wave your streamer in the sky, touch your streamer to the ground, etc.)
Let your little chef help measure, pour, and stir. These things will help him with his fine motor skills and make great memories at the same time. Here are some recipe ideas:
Blackberry, Blueberry, or Raspberry Cobbler
Make fresh Jam (if you don't want to can it, just make a small batch)
Triple Berry Crisp
The Giant Jam Sandwich
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, And the Big Hungry Bear
Blueberries for Sal
The Berry Book by Gail Gibbons
You may also want to check-out some non-fiction books about some of the animals in this story.
Just for Fun:
*This is a great summer book. I decided to use it because we pick a lot of berries! Try to plan to use this book in a week that you can take your student berry picking! I don't know about your state, but we have strawberry festivals here in June. You may want to plan this book around a berry festival close to your home town.
*This book is available on tape, too. You may want to check it out from the library and dance to the song!
Berry Recipes (to the left)
Jamberry Activity Guide