The Very Sleepy Bear Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time





The Very Sleepy Bear

by Nick Bland

Winter has come early on Jingle Jangle Mountain. It’s time to hibernate and Bear is in a big hurry! He needs to find somewhere warm and safe for the winter.  But sly Fox is after Bear’s cave for himself and his friends - can Fox convince Bear give up his cozy cave? Fast talking Fox takes Bear on a whirlwind tour to find a new and bigger home, but will Bear be convinced?  Nick Bland blends humour and wit in his rhyming text, and his wonderful
illustrations are fun and friendly. This is a delightful story that will be enjoyed by all.


Key Message for Parents | Children Learn Language by Listening To It And Using It

Sharing stories, singing songs and talking with your child are perfect activities to help develop strong literacy skills. Parents can help to support their child’s language development by:

Sharing books and stories regularly. Make reading part of your everyday routine:

  • Choose books that are age appropriate, fun to share and which are of interest or relevance to your child.
  • Choosing stories with rhythm and rhyme can be fun to read aloud. Encourage parents to follow their child’s lead
  • Chat with your child while reading. Today’s story The Very Sleepy Bear by Nick Bland is ideal for encouraging children to think and predict what might happen in the story
  • Talking, sharing, discussing, and observing together. Whether you are out and about or at home there is always something to talk about and discover!


Learning Outcomes | Outcome 3: Children Are Connected and Contribute to Their World

Educators and facilitators can help foster connectedness by:

  • Making sure that both during and after story time, we allow time for discussion and reflection
  • Providing activities which allow for participation and engagement and that are age appropriate
  • Modelling excellent listening and language skills at group/story time
  • Promoting cultural diversity through a story time program which is inclusive and relevant
  • Pose enquiry questions that challenge thinking and learning about the world


Before Reading 

Today’s story is called The Very Sleepy Bear and it is written and illustrated by Nick Bland. Now, this bear is not just sleepy he is VERY sleepy! Who feels sleepy today? What do we do when we feel sleepy? We yawn! Let’s all have a big yawn! Wow, you guys are very sleepy today! The bear in the story is very sleepy too because he is preparing to hibernate. Does anyone know what that means? It means he will sleep for a very, very long time…I wonder where he will sleep?

Let’s find out! Is everyone ready to listen? Hands in laps and eyes this way! Let’s read The Very Sleepy Bear by Nick Bland. (As you read the title and authors name point out the text on the front cover)


During Reading 

The first double spread presents us with some important visual clues - who is hiding behind the tree? And what does the picture tell us about what time of year it is? This is significant because bears (as well as other animals) hibernate in the winter.

As the story develops, Fox offers Bear many alternatives to his cave to hibernate. Ask the children if they think each of Fox’s proposals are good or not, and why? Can the children predict what will happen in each new ‘cave’? There is a clue in Nick Bland’s rhyming text so pause before you turn the page and the answer is revealed. As each place presents

Can the children predict what will happen in each new ‘cave’? There is a clue in Nick Bland’s rhyming text so pause before you turn the page and the answer is revealed. As each place presents a new danger or potential disaster, the font is large and exaggerated – use plenty of expression to add to the drama and bring the story to life.


After Reading 

Have a group discussion, chatting and exploring:

  • What makes a good hibernation place? Get children to discuss and list.
  • Who can remember the places Fox showed Bear? List them on a big piece of paper (a train tunnel, a cave by the beach, a tree hollow). What was wrong with these places? What happened in each one?
  • What are some other animals that hibernate? Where do they hibernate and for how long?
For full Learning Time please download the attached PDF
Associated books: 
No votes yet