Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute (Anymore)

By: Stan and Jan Berenstain

picture from Educational Materials Center:

These lessons were created by Amanda Hayward and Jessica Strange and are intended for 2nd and 3rd grade readers.


  Story Summary  

"When Bear Country's cubs learn pollution's a fact, they help grownups learn to clean up their act."  When Professor Actual Factual writes a newspaper article about the conditions of Bear County, little does he know that the greatest effect he will have is on the lives of Bear County's future.  Brother and Sister Bear get their friends involved in saving their community after spending a day learning about the fate of their town.  All of the bear cubs work together to learn about pollution and come up with solutions to help make Bear County a better place. 


  All about the Berenstain's  

A biography of the life of Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Stan and Jan Berenstain began writing books for children after they graduated from the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in 1941.  The Big Honey Hunt, the first book they wrote in the series about Bear County, was published in 1962.  Stan served in the army for several years and when he returned they had two sons, Leo and Michael.  Their sons would later create television shows based around their books.  Both Stan and Jan have received many awards for their stories including the Ludington Award for the Educational Paperback Association.  Stan passed away in November of 2005, but Jan still writes stories about the lovable bear cubs with her son Mike.     


  Materials Needed


  Before You Read

Activity 1:  In the story, the Bear cubs and their classmates learn from Professor Actual Factual about some new vocabulary words that help them to understand about pollution.  Explore these new terms by printing off the pollution vocabulary worksheet.


Activity 2:  K-W-L Chart

With a partner fill out the first two columns of the K-W-L Chart for the topic of pollution.


Activity 3:  Search the Web

When you are finished write a summary of the information you found in three to five sentences.


  While You Read

Activity 4:  When you reach the following pages stop and answer the following questions:

    Page 2:  What sort of trouble do you think Bear County is in?

    Page  5:  What do you think creates the beautiful sunset?

    Page 10:  Why do you think Professor Actual Factual says that the bears are endangered?

    Page 14:  What kinds of pollution do Brother and Sister find in Bear County?

    Page 16:  What do you think Brother and Sister are going to do about the pollution?

    Page 22:  Do you think Papa will change his mind about planting new trees?

    Page 28:  How did the Earthsaver's Club start to solve the pollution problems?

Activity 5:  While you are reading, create a list of vocabulary terms from the story that you don't know or were hard for you to read.  When you are finished with the story, pick your top 5 words and look them up in the online dictionary.  Now reread the word in its sentence in the story.  Does the definition from the online dictionary make sense?


  After You Read

Activity 6:  Create a list of ways you could help with the pollution problem in your town.  Compare your list with Tiki's list of things kids can do.

Activity 7:  Print off the My World worksheet and draw a picture of your town with pollution problems and as a clean place.

Activity 8:  Using the story frame worksheet, complete the worksheet for the story.  Make sure you use the sequence of events as they occur in the book.


  Applying What You Read

Activity 9:  Visit the Berenstain Bear's website and click on the Post Office.  Send an email to a character from the story. you just read.  Write your email about one of the following topics:

When you have written your email make sure to print a copy before you send it to turn in.

Activity 10:  Go to the activities section of the Berenstain Bear's website and explore some of the activities (mazes, puzzles, secret messages, etc.)  Complete two of the activities and write a sentence for each one explaining what you did.  If you printed off a maze or puzzle turn it in with your sentences.


  Assessing Your Work



  Additional Resources for Teachers

Ideas for mini-lessons/enrichments to use as a class.

Points of View Lesson:  Discuss how different animals from the story (ducks, fish, squirrel, bird) all see the world from a different point of view.  Discuss how pollution affects each (fish are affected by water pollution, birds by air pollution, etc.)

Set up a recycling area of your room for used papers or go on a litter walk around your school yard and pick up trash.

Discussion of dialogue and using a narrator between quotes to add additional information in a story.

Links to other pollution websites for kids:

Tiki's Guide to Pollution


Bill Nye the Science Guy's Website

Environmental Kids Club

Stormwater Pollution Workbook


Additional books about pollution and the environment.

The Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Coughing Catfish, by Stan Berenstain, c. 1996 Scholastic Paperbacks

Air by Lisa Yount, c. 1995 Lerner Pub.

Pollution and Waste, by Rosie Harlow, c. 1995 Kingfisher Books

Earth Words: A Dictionary of the Environment, by Seymour Simon, c. 1995 Harpercrest

The Clean-Up of Codfish Cove, by Gary A. Lewis, c. 1994 Third Story Books

50 Recycled Crafts For Kids, by Marion Elliot, c. 1996 Smithmark Pub.

Earth-Friendly Outdoor Fun: How to Make Fabulous Games, Gardens, by George Pfiffner, c. 1996 John Wiley and Sons

Earth-Friendly Holidays, by George Pfiffner, c. 1995 John Wiley and Sons

Recyclables Fun: Creative Craft Ideas, by Diane Cherkerzian, c. 1995 Boyds Mills Press

50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Recycle, by Earthworks Group, c. 1994 Earthworks Press

Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin, c. 2003 Scholastic, Inc.