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Going on a Bear Hunt - A Teacher's Guide


Going on a Bear Hunt - Song Lyrics, Activities, Lesson Plans, Worksheets

Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic camp and circle-time song and story book for preschoolers and primary-age children. The clap-slap song, with lots of hand motions, is about a hunting party that bravely sets out to find a bear. The party encounters various obstacles like tall grass, a river, mud, a blizzard, and a dark cave before finding the bear. Once they find the bear, their courage leaves them and they hurriedly retrace their steps back home. Going on a Bear Hunt is fun as an icebreaker, a mini-lesson in rhythm or attentiveness, or as a unique way to introduce a lesson about bears.

Read on for Bear Hunt lyrics, Bear Hunt activities, lesson plans, and printables. Don't miss the video of author Michael Rosen performing his popular version of the traditional song.

Photo by Emily Walker

Do you know the Bear Hunt Song?

Please vote now on whether you know the Bear Hunt Song.

polar bear in cave

polar bear in cave

"Going on a Bear Hunt" Lyrics

Do the Bear Hunt Chant

Like most songs of this sort, there are many different versions. Here are some sample lyrics, but feel free to make up your own. That's part of the fun.

Going on a Bear Hunt (tap legs in walking rhythm)

Gonna catch a big one

I'm not afraid

What's that up ahead? (shade eyes)

Oh no! Tall grass

Can't go over it (hands high)

Can't go under it (hands low)

Gotta go through it

Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish (wave arms back and forth)

Repeat all of the above, and replace the part in italics with

A wide river

Splish splash, splish splash, splish splash, splish splash (swimming motions)

Yucky mud

Scroll to Continue

Squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish (stepping motions)

A dark forest

Stumble, trip, stumble, trip, stumble, trip, stumble, trip

A big snowstorm

Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo (wave arm, cover face)

A dark cave

Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe (tiptoe stepping motions)

What's that?

Fuzzy fur

Big eyes

Wet nose

Sharp teeth

It's a bear!

Back through the cave

Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe (tiptoe stepping motions, double time)

(Retrace steps at double time)

We're not going on a bear hunt again!

Photo by Ted

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" Book - The One to Have

This book with lyrics by Michael Rosen and Pictures by Helen Oxenbury is the best of several based on the Bear Hunt chant. I use it with my students and they love it. We have it in Japanese too for my English language learners. Be sure to check out the video of the author reading (performing) this story.

Michael Rosen Performs "We're Going on a Bear Hunt"

Poet and author Michael Rosen performs his version of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt." I his animated expression and the energy he puts into the performance.

Going on a Bear Hunt Printables and Downloads - Use these resources for your "Bear Hunt" lessons

"Going on a Bear Hunt" Activities and Lesson Plans - A collection of great lesson plans

Please leave your 'going on a bear hunt' comments in the guestbook.

AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on April 23, 2014:

Nice lens.

scottdemitri26 on January 30, 2014:

Awesome renditions I remembered this song from girl scout camp. I had fun reminiscing. thank

KathyZ1 on October 23, 2013:

Nice lens, thanks for your sharing.

john-dixon on October 09, 2013:

finally could afford to go bear hunting with my dad and I at we kept trying to remember all the words . i found myself trying to sing it a week later so i google it and found this page thanks so much im still laughing :)

Valerie Smith from New Zealand on September 29, 2013:

I've never been on a bear hunt but it sounds like lots of fun.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on June 02, 2013:

I wish I had a nickle for every time I have led a bear hunt. Great memory. Thanks.

anonymous on March 09, 2013:

I love this story! These activities are fantastic, thanks1

MadameJoy on February 19, 2013:

Such a great way to combine reading and fun!

anonymous on January 07, 2013:

Brilliant ideas to use with children with special needs

Shannon from Florida on December 11, 2012:

My kids all love this book! Thank you for the lesson ideas!

breaststrokeswimming on November 06, 2012:

Great way to teach the kids. Thanks

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on October 31, 2012:

Great book/song to use for lesson plans. Fun to act out and squeal when they find the bear. My daughter really likes the book, so I bet she'd enjoy learning along with it.

TheChewyMommy LM on October 27, 2012:

My 3 year old does this in her Movin' and Groovin' class and it is her favorite song. In the class's version they sing "We're going on a bear hunt, gonna find a big one, with green eyes, and a fuzzy little tale". Then they go through a candy factory, a peanut butter river, and a jelly swamp. There is some serious cuteness happening when the kids are singing and dancing!

anonymous on October 19, 2012:

wonderful ideas! Thanks!

spids1 on October 06, 2012:

Great lens very well written.

potovanja on July 31, 2012:

Great lens, with suoper informative content. I give you LIKES:).


anonymous on May 04, 2012:

Very nice compilation of materials. I learned this song ages ago as "A Squigee Hunt" and now I like to use it as "A Dragon Hunt". Thanks!

Shannon from Florida on March 18, 2012:

My kids LOVE acting out this book!

Ram Ramakrishnan on March 05, 2012:

What seems a repetition to an adults mind, to that of a child it isn't a twain;

Going on a bear hunt is narratable to little ones again and enjoyably again!

Joey McClurg from Illinois on February 12, 2012:

Good lens, and what a great idea -=)

moonlitta on January 22, 2012:

Any way of making kids learn and have fun simultaneously is something admirable!

Annamadagan on January 03, 2012:

Fun! Cute lens.

anonymous on November 11, 2011:

Had to stop by just to smile!

anonymous on June 18, 2011:

What wonderful fun...Going on a Bear Hunt must be repeated many request!

Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on June 18, 2011:

This is great. I've only heard of it once but hope to use it some day, Well, I'm just about to become a grandma, so I guess I'll get the chance.

lemonsqueezy lm on June 07, 2011:

Timeless! There are several versions but this is great fun for kids both young and old.

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