Teaching Colours&Animals with the story ”Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?”by Eric Carle

The best story I found to teach colours and animal words with 6 year old kids is ”Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”, by Eric Carle. As a procedure, before I read the story, I pre-teach some vocabulary students will encounter in the story, such as colours and animal words (brown bear, red bird, yellow duck, blue horse, green frog, purple cat, white dog, black sheep, goldfish). I usually use flashcards related to the world of Eric Carle in order to present vocabulary.

Examples of pre-reading activities

  • Presentation of vocabulary- show students flashcards and name the animals/colours to elicit what they know/don’t know
  • Play the game ”I spy something brown/red/yellow etc. in the classroom/at home” (if in an online scenario)
  • Play the game ”What’s missing (teacher holding 3 flashcards, students close their eyes, teacher takes one flashcard out, students call out the missing flashcard)


I read aloud the story and point out key words. The stories by Eric Carle are quite simple and easy for students to understand. In order to engage students to contribute as well as much as possible to the story-telling activity I do several post-reading activities, such as the following:

Examples of post-reading activities

  • Leave out words intentionally while reading for students to fill in (e.g. Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? I see a…………looking at me)
  • Role-play the story (split the class in two, one half of the class asks the questions – ”Brown, bear, what do you see?”/ whereas the other half, answers ”I see a red bird looking at me”.
  • Play memory games  (e.g. What colour is the dog in the story? etc.)
  • Coluring activities based on the story (e.g. Colour the bird in red/)
  • Drawing activities- students draw their favourite animal in the story
  • Continue the story- students continue the story by adding other colours+animals

The story can also be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-NlZH_HcOw

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