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Name of Activity:
Purpose of Activity:To practice self-control of body.
Prerequisites:Ability to listen and follow 2/3 step instructions
Suggested Grade Level:PRE-K
Description of Idea
Discuss how bears "hibernate" in the winter and "wake up" in the spring prior to activity. Reading the book, "Bear Snores", by Karma Wilson (or other books on hibernation) is a fun a way to do this. Introduce /demonstrate/teach bear-walk (on hands and feet) if needed. Instruct children to "hibernate" by laying down and making a snoring noise each time the teacher says, "hibernate" and turns the lights off, and then to "wake up" and start bear-walking again when the lights come back on the the teacher says "springtime".
You might want to incorporate some kind of balancing incorporated or intersperse with a crab walk to use the other muscle groups as this is a strenuous activity.
Observe: Ability to move body through space accurately, ability to stop body on command, bilateral coordination and reciprocal motion of upper and lower extremities, and ability to bear weight on extremities during bear-walk.
The preschools I am in have "Teddy Bear Picnic" and "Teddy Bear Tea" days that I have coordinated this activity with. Extensions of this activity could be to use play huts, tents, or tunnels that the students crawl into for hibernation, or color spots that are designated as "their cave" that they return to each time they hibernate. The book,"Bear Snores On" is also available on DVD is this format would be helpful.
Adaptations for Students with Disabilities
Children who are unable to perform bear-walk can participate by walking upright (as bears sometimes do. Using the lights on/off as a visual cue along with the verbal command will be helpful for students with hearing loss.