Wonder Bear

Growing Tall
(collaborating on activities with families)

Age suitability: 3-7 years

Effort required: (1=less work - 5=more work)

Pre-activity: 2
During activity: 1
Post-activity: 4

Wonder Bear is a travelling teddy bear who goes home with children to ask questions about the world around us. Children write wonderings in a book, which is shared with the class.

  • To stimulate time for wondering
  • To encourage children to ask questions about the world around them.
  • To recognise that questions can be answered in different ways.
  1. (Optional pre-activity) Use the Wonder Bingo activity as homework to encourage and explain the importance of questioning to parents. See example Wonder Bingo sheet.
  2. Prepare Wonder Bear bags, which include could be a school reading bag with a small teddy bear (Wonder Bear), his wondering object, a note book to record ideas in, and anything else that might be useful for children and parents e.g. pens, question stem cards, guidance note for parents.
  3. Have an example within the note book to offer to show children how to record their wonderings, and explain this to the children in class. (e.g. using a spider diagram or drawing with questions around – written by child or parent).
  4. Design a rota for sending the Wonder Bear bag home and make that visible to parents at the school door/gate.
  5. Allow up to 3 nights for the bag to be returned, before passing to other children and later refilling the bag with a new wondering object at a point you feel appropriate.

Teachers: When Wonder bear returns to school, at a key point it’s important to share the questions asked about the wondering object with the children. This will add value to their activity at home.

If desirable: different investigation types could be displayed in the classroom to refer to when discussing how we could find answers to some of the questions returned.

Give opportunities for other children to ask questions about the object. To involve families further, family members could be invited into class to share their ideas when they return Wonder Bear.

  • Remember to replace the object regularly – after every 5 or so children.
  • It is advisable to discuss the activity with the first few families who take Wonder Bear home as their additions to the notebook will guide future families
  • Set deadlines for the bear’s return
  • Encourage families to record the questions together. Young children can take part and parents record questions for them.
  • Science Wondering objects could be: feathers, leafs, Lego brick, magnifying glass, a newton meter, a pipette etc. Children could be involved in selecting objects.
  • Send more than one bear home at a time
  • In our school we had t-shirts made for your Wonder Bear to make him special and to make sure that children and parents can recognise him easily when he goes home. (Having the school name on the back also helped our bear not to go missing!)

Developed by Sarah Dakin, Vernon Park Primary School