Author: Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

24 to 35 Months ConceptPredictable Text

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a classic children’s book that has opened up a world of learning for generations of children. The repetitive and predictable text will have your little one chiming in and reading along in no time.

Before, During and After Reading

Phonological Awareness

Show your child the picture of the bear on the cover of the book or use a stuffed teddy bear. Talk about the letter B and its sound. You might say: 

  • Bear begins with /b/ /b/ B. The letter B makes the /b/ sound. Watch my mouth as I make the /b/ sound: /b/ /b/ /b/ My lips are closed and then burst open.

Ask your child to make the /b/ sound.

Letter Knowledge and Print Awareness

Introduce the title of the book as you trace under the words. Tell your child that the title is made up of words that tell us the name of the story. (It may seem simple and obvious to adults that the title is made up of words, but it is not obvious to young children.) Show your child the letter B on the front cover and say the /b/ sound.

Oral Language

Talk about the animals and the colors shown in the story.

Print Awareness

Each time you read, your child is learning how the text is organized, how it works. After you have read the story a few times, pause at the end of the key repetitive phrases to see if your child can finish them. For example, you might pause right before the phrase “What do you see?” See if your child can fill in this last line.

Print Awareness

Create a banner. Look for animal pictures that represent the animals in the book (e.g., gold fish, brown bear, red bird). You can also add a few new animals if you like. Glue the animals on a large piece of paper or paper taped together to create a banner. Place the pictures on the banner from left to right, following the order in the book. You might even write in the words. Hang the banner at your child’s eye level. Encourage your child to follow along and touch each animal picture as you read the story. Soon, your little one will be able to read along the entire banner by herself!

Explore more recommended children's books for two-year-olds, or find an at-home activity to help build important pre-reading skills