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July 26

Jan Berenstain, co-author of the popular Berenstain Bears series of books, was born in 1923.

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Jan Berenstain, co-author of the popular Berenstain Bears series of books, was born in 1923.

Grades K – 2
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Jan and Stan Berenstain met while they were both in art school and then worked together as artists and writers after they married. Their first children's book to be published, The Big Honey Hunt, was about a bear family now known as the “Berenstain Bears.” The story was the first of more than 50 children's titles in the series. The Berenstains continued their teamwork as co-authors and illustrators of a variety of Berenstain Bears titles until Stan's death in 2005. Jan died in 2012.




Use the Berenstain Bears stories for a family literacy “Book Kit”ť initiative in your classroom. Books in this series deal with topics of interest to families, such as starting school, a new sibling, visits to the dentist, and so on. After collecting a set of books, place each into a pouch or bag for travel to students’ homes. With each book, include a nonfiction book on the same subject, simple home activities, reproducibles, and related parent information for students to share when reading the books at home with their families.

For example, with The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist you could include:

  • Diane Swanson’s The Dentist & You
  • toothbrushes donated from a local dentist's office
  • this Healthy Teeth article
  • a sheet with recipes for healthy snacks and related activities

Modify this project by having a few kits that travel among families or a library of kits that students “check out”ť one at a time. The lesson Connect with Low-Literate Families: A Three-Tiered Approach offers strategies for sending literature activities home with students from low-literate families. Use whatever record-keeping method works best for your classroom.



  • Welcome to Berenstain Bear Country!

    The official Berenstain Bears website includes a variety of resources. There are activities, a bibliography of titles, full length video stories, and more.

  • The Berenstain Bears

    PBS Kids offers this collection of activities. Included are interactive reading activities, video and audio clips, games, coloring pages, and pictures of the Berenstain Bears.

  • The Berenstain Bears

    This publisher's website features information about the Berenstain Bears titles and a collection of related activities.


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Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Shhh! Bear's Sleeping: Learning About Nonfiction and Fiction Using Read-Alouds

Students explore the distinction between the fiction story Bear Snores On and the nonfiction book Every Autumn Comes the Bear.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A Bear of a Poem: Composing and Performing Found Poetry

Children find favorite words, phrases, and sentences from familiar stories. Working together, they combine their words and phrases to create a poem. The poem is then shared as performance poetry.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

A Journal for Corduroy: Responding to Literature

Connect home and school, literature and life, as students take a storybook character home with them and take turns writing stories about his visit.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Animal Study: From Fiction to Facts

Students listen to fiction and nonfiction read-alouds and explore selected Websites to identify factual information about animals. This lesson focuses on ants, but can be adapted to any animal.