The Bear and the Hare

from The Bear and the Hare
from The Bear and the Hare

The Bear and the Hare is a Christmas commercial.  But the sentiment and the artistry of this video make it so much more.  It is a simple tale of a hare who does not want his bear friend to hibernate through Christmas day.  The empathy that is portrayed without words is touching, and the film itself is a masterpiece of stop-motion animation.  Here are some of the ways the video could be used in the classroom:

  • Have students summarize the story.
  • Fill in a graphic organizer of the story.
  • Create a Reader’s Theater for the story.
  • Ask the students to re-write the story from the bear’s perspective.
  • Write a story about how the two first became friends.
  • Assign the students to draw a gift the bear could give the hare in return. (Here is a great post from Ms. Trayers with some wonderful student examples!)
  • Research the animals portrayed in the film, animals that hibernate, and/or identify what part of the world could be the setting of this story.
  • What other stories of friendship are similar to this?

To extend the learning even more, there happens to be a “Making of” video that shows various stages of the production of The Bear and the Hare.  If you have students interested in video production, they will find this fascinating.  I have several students who just started making stop-motion videos with the Lego Movie Maker app.  I can’t wait to show them the meticulous care that goes into creating a fine work of art like The Bear and the Hare.  It is sure to inspire them to add more depth and creativity to their own productions.

You can also visit the John Lewis website, where you can make your own Bear and Hare greeting card.  There appears to be an iTunes app, but it seems that it is not available in the United States at this time.

If you are unable to view the embedded video below, you can also see it here on “The Laughing Squid” website.

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6 thoughts on “The Bear and the Hare”

  1. HI Terri,
    I LOVE your stuff…LOVE it. And the movie’s sentiment is sosososo lovely as well. But i’m really struggling with the aspect of waking the bear from hibernation. From what I can tell, in general it’s dangerous and even deadly to wake hibernating animals, and I wonder how we can responsibly integrate that into lessons used with this video?

    From: http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/all-about-animals/hibernation3.htm, “If you were to wake up a hibernating animal midwinter, you would be effectively killing it. It would use up so much energy warming itself up in order to awaken that it would have no chance of making it to spring even if it could re-enter hibernation.”

    I don’t know how scientifically based this information is, but I thought I would put it out there as something to research. Maybe an additional activity would be to have student do a report on the question?

    1. Michelle, I completely agree with you! I was actually thinking that, as an extension activity, students could do that research, and look into the ethics (one of Kaplan’s depth and complexity icons) of the hare waking up his friend. Thanks for that link!

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