Winter Unit Lesson Plan: The Theme of (Unlikely) Friendships, Acceptance and Kindness: Inviting the Bears

Inviting the Bears:

A story of unlikely friendships, acceptance and love, a lonely old man ponders if he should start a new life somewhere else. After deciding that a move wouldn’t change his predicament, he goes into the forest seeking answers. What he finds are grizzly bears who he decides might just be the answers to his prayers. Although they speak a different language and are usually considered fierce enemies, he decides to invite them to a feast. What he learns from them is truly the lesson of a lifetime.

A story from the United States (Alaska to be exact!), this Native American Folk Tale is a wonderful tale on finding friendships in the unlikeliest places, accepting those that are different (and who may be more alike than we believe) and kindness to others, even if it is out of our comfort zone. This story is perfect for readers on all levels, is short and engaging and speaks a message we want all our students to hear.

Teaching Inviting the Bears: Unlikely Friendships & The Common Thread that Binds Us All  

This story meets Common Core Standards for 1st -3rd grade and is a wonderful addition to a Unit on Friendship, Acceptance and Kindness. This story is best used in the classroom to promote its positive messages and would be a great addition to a unit for Character Education. You could also use it in a unit on Native American studies and how they used animal tales to promote these three themes within their tribes. Extend your standard learning of the literary skills with a story that your students will sure to ponder and love. Happy Storytelling!

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