One of the strong impulses of the Common Core Standards is the use of non-fiction reading.  When I work with the fairy tales like the Three Bears – I think it is a wonderful opportunity to compare real bears vs. the three bears.  We research bears by reading non-fiction books from the school library.  This integrates science into the curriculum in such a powerful way.

We make two habitats:  Real bears and The Three Bear's home out of paper bags

These sweet paper bag houses are from

Each child will make a Three Bear's house. To make the paper bag houses:

  • Fill the lunch bags with newspaper.
  • Fold down the top.
  • Pick a scrapbook or construction paper for roof.
  • Fold over top and staple.
  • Cut out windows, doors and other details from various papers.
  • Use markers and crayons to add features.

How to make paper bag bear habitats:

We discuss the life cycle of the brown bear and important facts.  Again, to translate what we discuss and create – I provide a graph to document the children's understandings of fictional and real bears:

Click on graph to download both papers.


Another way of looking at the differences between real and fictional bears is with a sentence graph:

Click to download graph.

I like to put this on the smart board and fill it out with the class.  I use these graphs all year long. ( I eventually have the children writing sentences from them in the second semester. )   I read each sentence out loud after we are done filling it out.  “”Bears can hunt.  Bears can climb.” etc.

Here is an example of one filled out:


I will fill the same graph out with the three bears to compare the differences.


Here is another little poster I made to help discuss the differences between real bears and their lives and the Three Bears fairy tale.