Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson - Teaching Ideas

Poor bear, he is really feeling sick! His head is hot, he is achy and sneezy, wheezy and stuffy! But when his friends find out he is sick they immediately come to take care of him. They cook broth, make tea, and put a cool cloth on his head. Poor bear, he is really feeling sick. Bear tosses and turns, mumbles and grumbles and he just can't rest. His friends walk around on tippy toes, whisper and softly sing until finally poor bear falls asleep. When bear finally wakes, he is feeling well again. He dances and jumps and tells his friends to come out and play! But poor friends, they are now feeling sick. When bear sees how they are feeling he rushes to their side, kisses all their sweet little heads and tells them that he will be there to make them all feel better.

I just love this story, it is so sweet!

Listed below are reading skills, strategies and ideas you can use to create a great lesson to go with this book.

I have created an Asking Questions Freebie for you if that is something your students are needing help with.

Reading level: 1.8
Theme/subject: kindness/compassion, friendship
Genre: animal stories

Suggested Vocabulary/phrases: autumn, achy, heap, whiffs and wheezes, mutters, mumbles, grumbles, soothes, coax, smidgen, quivers, frolic

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder why bear feels sick. I wonder if all his friends will help him. {possible questions during} I wonder if bear will feel better. I wonder if the other animals will start to feel sick. {possible questions after} I wonder if bear will make them tea.  **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – Third person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • Author's purpose - entertain {evidence} Bears don’t drink tea and eat broth. Gophers don’t know how to cook. The author wrote this story in rhyme. All these things make a very sweet, entertaining story.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Bear feels sick. {most important event from middle} Bear's friends come and take care of him. {most important event from end} Bear takes care of his friends when they start to feel sick.
  • Cause and effect – Why can’t bear sleep? Because he feels sick. Why does bear want to go out and celebrate? Because bear feels better. How come his friends don’t want to play? Because they all feel sick. Why is bear taking care of his friends? Because they all took care of him.
  • Character analysis - describe Bear. Describe the friends. {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Character changes – {beginning} bear feels sick. {end} bear feels better. All because his friends took care of him.
  • Classify & categorize – things to do when you are sick and things you do when you are well.
  • Compare & contrast – how bear’s friends took care of him to how your mom takes care of you.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Feeling sick. Having someone take care of you. Feeling achy. {possible text-to-text connections} You can connect to any of the other Bear books from this series, or Can’t You Sleep Little Bear? by Martin Waddell because in both books others are taking care of a bear.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} Bear feels sick. {details} He feels achy and wheezy and sneezy. His friends come and take care of him. They fix him broth, wrap him in a blanket and put a cold cloth on his head.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when bear finally falls asleep.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is about? How will his friends help? What do you think they will do with the herbs? Do you think bear will get better? What do you think he will want to do when he feels better?  Do you think his friends will get sick?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} Bear feels sick. {solution} His friends wrap him in a blanket, give him water and broth, put herbs on him and cool his head with a cold cloth.
  • Sequencing – All alone bear starts to feel sick. Bear can’t sleep. Bear's friends come and want him to play. Bear is too sick to play. His friends gather to help take care of him. They cook broth and put a cold cloth on his head. They gather herbs and give him some tea. Bear starts to sleep. All the friends watch bear sleep.  Bear wakes and is feeling much better. Bear wants to play but his friends are all sick. Bear kisses them all and tells them he will take care of them.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – Bear feels sick and his friends are doing a lot of things to take care of him. They wrap him in a blanket, make some broth, collect herbs and give him some tea. What else could you tell them to do to help him?
  • Summarize - {someone} Bear’s friends {wanted} wanted to play {but} but bear was too sick {so} so his friends came in to take care of him. Bear {finally} finally started to feel better.
  • Theme – having someone there to take care of you always makes you feel better.
  • Visualize – What would you have done to help bear feel better?

Happy Reading!


  1. I love Bear - such a great series of books. Thanks for the detailed lesson suggestions - I just love this blog!!!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

    1. Thanks! I love Bear adorable!
      Have a great week!

    2. Thank you for the information you provide here. I just use some of them to design a worksheet. Here is my blog. Thank you so much.
      Worksheet: //


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