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Wordplay, Language Skills, and Friendship in Hilarious Picture Book for Young Readers

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Fun With Words and Language for Young Readers

Hilarious adventures with Bear and using words

Hilarious adventures with Bear and using words

Language Fun With Bear and Friends

Julie Hedlund's Over, Bear! Under, Where? is a hilarious adventure with wordplay and language skills mixed into the text. Read along with Bear to discover the magic of using words to learn concepts of directions, compound words, and enjoy the new friendship that Bear and his companions form. Hedlund includes a list of compound words at the end of the story that can be formed from the story text.

Over and Under are two friends playing in the park. Using the seesaw provides an opportunity to learn what their names mean. Over and Under go in these directions on the seesaw. The playground swing also shows the meaning of over and under as they swing with each other. How about a barbecue with a hot dog? A bear appears and Under and Over learn new meanings for their names. How about the meanings for "behind" and "between" ? Bear and Dog form a new friendship at the end of these adventures with words.

Michael Slack contributed his talents as an illustrator to add colorful and funny illustrations for the wordplay activities. Each illustration is large and fills each page with a word concept along with the characters. Young readers will be engaged with the use of each word and how the word relates to the illustration.

Over, Under! Under, Where? was published by Philomel Publishing, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended for ages 3-8 and has an ISBN of 978-0-593-20355-2.

Engaging and Hilarious Illustrations for Wordplay and Language Skills

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Bring Bear Into the Classroom for Fun Language Skills and Activities

I used a variety of picture books to teach reading and language skills to my kindergarten students when I was in the classroom. Picture books with special concepts were always my go-to tool to introduce language concepts. Julie Hedlund's Over, Bear! Under, Where? is a treasure trove of ideas for teaching language skills to young readers. I especially like the ideas from the text to use in teaching compound words.

*Read Over, Bear! Under, Where? in a story time session.call attention to the positions and their names that the characters Over and Under have on the beginning page. Who is under the seesaw? Who is over the top of the basket?

*Call attention to Over and Under on the seesaw at the playground. Practice using these words "over" and "under".

*Call attention to the vocabulary words "behind" and "between" with Bear appears at the park.

*What happens when Dog comes along? Use the words in the text to locate Dog and the other characters.


*Collect small objects to practice using the words "over" and "under". Example: have a small piece of cloth to hide small objects under and on top to represent "over".

*Organize a scavenger hunt in the classroom to find objects that you as the teacher have hidden "over" and "under" around the room. Encourage children to use these words to describe the location of each object that they find.

*Hedlund includes a comprehensive list of compound words at the end of the book. Compound words are difficult to teach and this picture book will be a useful tool when teaching this concept. Write the compound words from her list for students to hunt for in the story text. Make this activity a second scavenger hunt for the compound words.

*Prepare jigsaw puzzle pieces to teach compound words from the story text. Small jigsaw pieces can be created by tracing actual jigsaw puzzle pieces onto sturdy tagboard or cardboard. Print each part of a compound word on each piece that fit together. Laminate the pieces to ensure that the puzzles will last. Place sets of puzzles into envelopes to distribute or have the students choose as a free-time activity to practice making compound words by putting the jigsaw pieces together.

© 2021 Cindy Hewitt

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