Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Winter Unit Lesson Plan Part 2: 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!

A positive message while teaching an important literary skill: this is what you will find in all the Stories to Grow by Stories and accompanying Reader’s Theater scripts.


  1. This is fabulous. You write a great blog post that really captivates the reader. I just love reading about your new stories and ideas for implementation.

  2. Love your blog posts they are all so engaging. your students must love your lessons.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! Not only did you make me want to read this story, I also cant help but think about how much we need this in our country right now. The reminder that friendships come in all shapes and sizes, colors and religious backgrounds, etc. This post is perfectly timed and it warms my heart to know that even in a world that seems to be clashing with one another, our classrooms are being lead by teachers who see the importance in unity, respect and kindness.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, I couldn't agree with you more!