Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Retell Literacy Center Activity


Active kindergarten activities are essential to my literacy center time. Students stay on-task better at our hands-on literacy centers in our classroom like the retell center.

This is how I created a Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See retell activity to go in our retell center as an option for students.

It’s one of my favorite literacy centers and we usually introduce Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? in November.

When students are familiar with a few color words is the perfect time to bring out this literacy activity. Students are ready to find the color words within the text to use it to support predicting what will be on the next page.

They get to choose the book(s) they want to retell while they are at this literacy center.

They read, they act, they use lots of great vocabulary and are developing fantastic reading habits all while continuing to build their love of reading.

What’s in my Brown Bear retell set

Here are the props I printed (and you can too) to bring the book alive once we knew it by heart.

It was really simple and all it took was printing a set of animals!

If you have popsicle sticks leftover in your craft cupboards and can copy/print onto construction paper then you’ve got this one in the bag!

I printed mine onto matching colored construction paper, cut around the animals and added popsicle sticks with strong packaging tape. Tongue depressors would’ve even been better.

How to make your own Brown Bear Brown Bear retell activity

If you plan to make this a year-long literacy center, I highly recommend that you read the Retell Literacy Center Directions for more details and making everything run smooth.

Here are the materials you’ll need… (may include affiliate book links to Amazon)


What to do

Print the animal props onto colored construction paper and laminate them. Tape popsicle sticks onto the back with strong packaging tape.

Take your book copy, your animals and place them together. A container like an open basket, a book bin or a large Ziploc bag will work!

We liked to keep a blanket nearby these materials so that they could create a theater-like puppet stage to sit behind.

But all they need to do is have the book and the materials and use the props to tell as much as they can:

  • about the story
  • from the story
  • with the story (following along)

Encourage kinders to use as many words from the text as they can remember. With a patterned story like this one, it’s pretty easy, especially if you read this story multiple times before you release it to your students.

More resources

And here are a few additional resources I thought might be helpful if you’re doing this story with your class.

This Brown Bear Activity Pack includes a mini-emergent reader, graphing page and die and has animal cut outs that could work as alternative props.

And this video turns the book into a song:


There you have it – how to make a Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? retell activity for your class. I love how easy it is to pull this one together.

If you like this activity, check out this list of 20 more famous stories that are great for retelling in kindergarten. Most of them are just as simple to pull together and I’ve found all of the downloadable resources for you.

Other books that are great for retelling in kindergarten


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  1. Hi Leslie! I’ve been creating literacy centers for over 30 years and love putting them in the hands of my little ones. I also think you have a great blog and store and offer so many ideas for teachers. I was looking at your Brown Bear Puppets and realized that the puppets in the picture are actually the ones I created over 30 years ago! I’ve given them out at my conferences and on my TPT store. Any chance you could share with others that the puppets are from: Kindergarten with Susie on TPT?

    Thanks for all you do for teachers and our kids!

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