Get ready to discuss, share, play, create, and read your way to developing and empowering a strong character.
Two young bears have been playing all day and are so tired. Now it’s their bedtime and they want to hear their favorite story about a magical place called Honey Land.
Story Focus, Virtues, and Life Lessons
The importance of reading to learners is the single most important thing you can do for them. Not only does it provide important bonding time with your learner, but also develops their emergent literacy skills, their vocabulary development, and most importantly, their love of reading.
Recognizing and discussing the value of reading, including reading as
part of the bedtime routine.
- Mama Bear said, “There you are! It’s time for bed. Be quick and there will be time for a story.” The brown bear cubs hurried to get ready for bed. Betsy was so tired she could barely keep her eyes open. Mama Bear opened their favorite book, “Honey Land.” Betsy and Buddy curled up close beside her.
- Ask your learner, “What is your favorite bedtime book and why?”
Interactive Discussion and Activities
Reading Story Techniques
First, pre-read the story before reading it aloud with your learner. Use expressive language, gestures, motions, and sounds to make the story come alive:
- Have your tone of voice sound like a Mama Bear when reading to the bear cubs.
- Change your tone of voice for Queen Bee’s dialogue with Byron.
- Imitate swiping your hand when Byron saves the bee.
- Change your tone of voice for Byron’s dialogue with Queen Bee.
- Use your hand to reenact Byron putting his paw on the tree to open the secret door.
- Open your eyes wide and use facial expressions of joy and surprise as Byron sees Honey Land
- Demonstrate a happy and excited tone of voice for Byron when he answers Queen Bee about his wish.
- End the story with a soft and calming voice of Mama Bear reading “The End.”
Interject these questions to involve the learner:
- Who was playing in the woods?
- Why did the bear cub save the Queen Bee?
- When did the Queen Bee return to see the bear cub?
- Where was the magic door to Honey Land?
- What was the bear cub’s favorite ride in the park?
Use the answers to these questions to recall points in the story.
- Why did the brown bear cubs hurry to get ready for bed?
Mama Bear said, “There you are! It’s time for bed. Be quick and there will be time for a story.”
- Why did the bear cub free the queen bee from the spider’s web?
The bear cub said, “Queen Bee, I was happy to free you. There is no need for a reward.” Queen Bee thought, “This kind little bear has a heart of gold.”
- How did the bear cub open the door to Honey Land?
The bear cub put his paw on the golden oak tree. A secret door opened for him.
- What did the bear cub use to find his way around Honey Land?
He asked, “Queen Bee, how will I find you?” She flew in the air and said, “Take a map so you can find your way.”
- What was the bear cub’s favorite ride in the park?
His favorite ride was the Honey Bee Train that ran through the park.
- Note: Close with a discussion related to the learner’s favorite bedtime stories.
Behavior/Social Development (All Ages):
- Magical adventures found in books ignite the imagination.
- Reading to a learner sets the stage for the love of reading.
- Every story has a lesson to share.
- Books teach about relationships, situations, and what is good and what is
bad in the world they live in.
- Fantasy books provide material for imagination and free play.
- Fairy tales, parables, and fables intrigue your learner, and help him/her distinguish between what is real and what is not.
- When you read to your learner, they learn to understand cause and effect, to exercise logic, and to think in abstract terms.
- Discuss with your learner what kind of books are their favorites and identify the genre. Use Internet search engines to research authors and titles and make a list of books to read.
- Read books that are relevant to any new experiences or unfamiliar situations your learner may be going through. Reading about that particular topic can help prepare your learner for any situation and can relieve any uncertainties or anxieties he/she may be experiencing, and can help with coping.
- Brainstorm topics that you and your learner always wanted to know about and then research the answer or information
Language Development (Younger Learners):
- Antonyms: small – large, now – later
- Colors: black, brown, gold, yellow
- Identify word patterns: Long E Sounds “– ee”
Bolded words, among the following, were used in “Honey Land” — bee, fee, free, glee, see, tee, thee, three, tree, wee
- Identify and explain some of the more unfamiliar words in the story such as, “escape”, “reward” and “grant”.
- Use picture books to develop your learner’s vocabulary and language.
Language Development (Older Learners):
- Share and discuss “I wonder” questions and find the answers in a relevant resource.
- Ask your learner what time period in the past he/she would have liked to live in. Research that time period and find out what it would be like to live in that era.
- Introduce your learner to a Thesaurus and start increasing his/her vocabulary with words they are curious about. Create a personal dictionary with new vocabulary words.
Discover the values covered in this story through guided activities and fun projects that ensure learner involvement.
Arts and Crafts ideas for Creatively Understanding the Virtues
Arts & Crafts Activities (Younger Learners):
Honey Ball Cookies — No-Cook Recipe
Source: National Honey Board (www.honey.com/consumers)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1-1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1/2 cup raisins
- and 1/2 cup chocolate or multicolored sprinkles
- Place a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet socookies won’t stick.
- Combine powdered sugar, honey and peanut butter in a medium bowl.
- Stir until mixed well. Stir in cereal and raisins.
- Using hands, shape mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Roll balls in sprinkles and place on a cookie sheet.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Cookies should feel firm when touched.
Rank the Bears
- Work with an assortment of teddy bears.
- Have your learner rank them by height, weight, fluffiness, firmness, cutest, cuddliest, fastest, funniest, most lovable, etc.
- Materials: Glue, water, paintbrush, coffee grounds, construction paper, and bear template.
- Assist your learner in cutting and preparing a bear.
- Have your learner paint the bear with watered down glue.
- Sprinkle coffee grounds on the bear.
- Finish by shaking off the excess coffee grounds.
Arts & Crafts Activities (Older Learners):
- Word Collage
Have your learner choose an inspirational word he/she likes. Using the
thesaurus, find all the synonyms for that word, then create a collage
filled with the newly learned words. Decorate the collage with color.
- Paint the Picture
Have your learner create a picture for one of their favorite stories.
- Cover Art
Design a new cover page for one of their favorite books.
Involvement Tips (All Ages):
When you read with your learner, you establish so many advantages:
- A bonding that gives your learner a sense of security and well-being.
- A positive attitude towards reading as they grow up.
- Increased communication between you and your learner.
- Understanding that words represent sounds and concepts, words are read from left to write, and stories continue when you flip the page.
- A longer attention span, listening skills, and imagination.
- Increased vocabulary leading to success in kindergarten and early grades.
Queen Bee explained, “This special tree is the lock. A bear paw is the key to open it.”
Continue with learning experiences to extend your stay.
Follow-up Activities (All Ages):
Simple Honey Muffins (baking required):
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg beaten
- and 2-1/2 cups
- buttermilk baking mix
- Combine milk, honey, and egg; mix well.
- Add baking mix and stir only until moistened.
- Pore into greased muffin tins.
- Bake at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Gummy Bear Sort
- Give a few gummy bears to your learner.
- Ask your learner to sort them by color.
- Make sure to ask your learner to identify the colors before the gummy bears are eaten.
- Older Learners – Have your learner discover color hue combinations to create the colors of the gummy bears.
- Younger Learners
- Using the Hangman game approach, reveal the expression, “heart of gold,” from the story Honey Land.
- Fill in the correct letters guessed by your learner to complete the phrase.
- Older Learners
- Have your learner write the expression “heart of gold” on a piece of paper.
- Define the expression as someone who is a genuinely kind and caring person.
- Then, ask your learner to list the names of people who remind them of this expression.
- Limit the time to only 2 minutes for this writing activity.
- Extend the activity by asking your learner to tell you the reasons why these individuals have a “heart of gold.”
Real-Life Activities (All Ages):
Practice life skills – Consumer Shopping
- Have your learner identify an item they would like to buy.
- For younger learners, use catalogs for them to pick out one item. Should they see lots of items they want, have them narrow it done to just one.
- With older learners, use sales ads, catalogs, and/or the Internet, to research a particular item of interest for prices, safety features, consumer ratings, etc. Have your learner identify the best deal.
Mama Bear looked down at Betsy and Buddy as she said, “The End.”
Byron could not believe his eyes. Honey was everywhere he looked.