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Bears In A Boat

Posted on : 15-06-2010 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : K-2 Addition, K-2 Subtraction


The website:

This fantastic resource for interactive whiteboard tools has been circulating on Twitter.  The site provides excellent manipulatives, gameboards, workmats and storyboards for K-4 classrooms.  It takes time to discover all of the hidden gems, so I’ve highlighted an activity below that you won’t want to miss!

Classroom Applications: 

Manipulativebears-in-a-boat:  Bears In A Boat

Create a story about the bears in a boat to practice addition and subtraction concepts with primary students. 


Four bears walked to the water’s edge to take a boat out to fish.

Oh no, said Fred as he slapped his head, I’ve forgotten our lunch dish.

So, Fred headed home and the three bears began to shove the boat off from shore,

When running down the bank came two more bears shouting “Have you got room for more?”

So the bears all piled into the boat and paddled out onto the lake,

Hoping that a wonderful catch of fish they would be able to take.

The sun was burning so hot in the sky that the sweat began to drip,

So two bears jumped off into the lake to take a little dip.

One of the bears swam to shore and the other climbed back onboard,

Just then the poles began to bend and the bears spirits soared.

(OK, time for the bad meter and rhyming to end! You get the general idea by this point in the story!)

Place the bears in and out of the boat as the story progresses and as your students complete the computations.  For a challenge, tell the story straight through without moving the bears and ask your students how many bears are in the boat at the end.  Then tell the story again while moving the bears so the students can check their answers.

It would also be a fun extension to have your students create their own stories and to use this as an opportunity to pair and share.

As with all interactive whiteboard activities, be sure to encourage all students to answer by using paper and pencil or individual whiteboards as described here: http://interactivecontentcorner.com/2009/08/31/techniques-for-engaging-all-students/