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Monday, October 14, 2013

Becoming bears

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 In preschool, the best way to learn about something is to pretend to be it.  The changing leaves and the slight crispness to the air are a sign for bears to begin their hibernation process, so we became bears for the day!

First, we met the North Branch Nature Center's taxidermied black bear.  People got to touch the bear's fur, examine it's claws and ask questions about why the bear was there and why it wasn't moving anymore. 

Then, we played in a bear den (a big blue tarp in an outside corner of the barn) and learned to waddle like bears.  We sniffed apple slices with our dry "people noses" and then smelled them with dampened "bear noses."  Everyone agreed that the apples smelled even better with wet bear noses!

At deer camp during snack, we read Jim Arnosky's Every Autumn Comes the Bear.  We talked about what bears need to survive in winter.  One thing they have to do is eat, often apples or nuts or berries.  We visited an apple tree and practiced our bear climbing skills.

We ate some apples like bears...
 We observed the grasses and spent some quiet time during a break from our bear-play...
And we talked about bear dens and where they spend the winter.  Two girls made the connection that some animals make nests that are like dens.  Here they are trying out one of the nests they found in the forest!
What fun it can be to pretend to be animals!

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