BROOKSVILLE — The proper kind of picnic for a bear would probably include fresh berries — blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. Mix in a class of kindergarten children and those berries might be contained in muffins, cookies and lemonade.
A recent picnic was just like that in Margie Yurtinus' Challenger K8 kindergarten classroom.
The guests of honor at the picnic were the children's teddy bears brought from home. The berries and baked treats came from parents, whom Yurtinus thanks.
They had just finished two weeks studying bears. At the beginning of the year, the 31-year veteran teacher read related versions of "The Story of the Three Bears" with the children and began tying the stories to other subjects.
The children tasted different porridges and graphed them according to how much they liked them in a math lesson. They sang and had finger puppet plays. They learned about bears, real and not.
The 18 students did as much writing as they could as beginning kindergarteners. They had the choice of writing about their favorite teddy bears or the three bears of literary fame.
They each had a book they had made when the unit was finished. The pages were shaped as bear heads and the children worked on fine motor skills cutting them out. They wrote (with Yurtinus' help) and colored.
"They had a very good time and I think they learned a lot from our two weeks of intensive study of factual bears as well as fictional ones," Yurtinus said.