“A Bear-Y Scary Camping Trip”
This lesson is designed to build your critical-thinking skills in English as you read, listen, and answer different types of comprehension and discussion questions.
Ask these questions before you listen:
- Have you ever been camping? If so, where did you go, and what did you do?
- What would you need to pack for a camping trip in the mountains?
- Have you ever seen a moose or a bear in the wild? If so, what was your experience like?
- What would you do if you encountered a bear or a moose while hiking or camping?
- Have you ever jumped into a body of water from a high place before? If so, where and what was it like?
Here are other possible pre-listening activities:
- Vocabulary Brainstorming: Have students brainstorm and write down as many words as they can related to camping, mountains, wildlife, and adventure. Encourage them to think about nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
- Anticipation Guide: Provide students with statements related to camping, such as “Camping in the mountains can be dangerous” or “Encountering wildlife can be exciting.” Before listening to the story, ask them to indicate whether they agree or disagree with each statement. Afterward, revisit the statements and discuss any changes in their opinions.
- Discussion Starters: Write several open-ended questions about camping and outdoor adventures on the board. For example, “What is your most memorable camping experience?” or “What challenges do you think people face when camping in the mountains?” Engage students in a brief discussion to activate their prior knowledge and generate interest in the topic.
- KWL Chart: Provide students with a KWL (Know-Want to Know-Learned) chart related to camping in the mountains. In the “Know” column, have them write down what they already know about camping. In the “Want to Know” column, ask them to write questions they have or things they are curious about. After listening to the story, they can complete the “Learned” column with new information they acquired.
Listen and read the story and answer the questions. Key vocabulary words are marked in bold.
One summer, four friends named Josh, Jerry, Lisa, and Kelly decided to go camping in the Utah mountains.
They packed their gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and plenty of food, and set off on their adventure.
After hiking for a few hours, they came across a beautiful waterfall and decided to set up camp nearby. As they were roasting marshmallows over the campfire that night, they heard rustling in the bushes.
“Hey. Did you hear that? Lisa exclaimed with fear in her voice.
Suddenly, a giant moose appeared out of nowhere, and the friends quickly scrambled to their tents to play it safe.
But things only got worse.
The next morning, while they were exploring the nearby woods, they stumbled upon a black bear that began chasing them.
The friends ran as fast as they could, but the bear was gaining on them.
In a panic, they came across a steep cliff and had nowhere to go, but then, Lisa had an idea. A really terrible idea! She remembered the waterfall they had seen earlier and suggested the wacky idea of jumping off the cliff and into the pool below.
Josh, Jerry, and Kelly thought she was nuts, but they didn’t have any other options.
“Let’s do it!” yelled Josh, so they all jumped, screaming at the top of their lungs. To their surprise, the water was deep enough to break their fall, and they were able to swim to safety.
After catching their breath, the friends realized that they had lost the bear and the moose. They were all relieved and decided to make the best of it and continue their camping trip.
They explored more of the beautiful mountain scenery and even saw some bighorn sheep grazing in the distance! At the end of their trip, they all agreed that it was a wild adventure, and they were glad they didn’t let the ear and moose spoil their fun.
So, would you have done anything differently if you had been with them on that trip? Think about it.
Comprehension Questions: Self-Grading Quiz
Comprehension Questions in Text Format
1. What did the friends do when they heard rustling in the bushes at night?
A) They approached the bushes to see what was causing the noise.
B) They quickly jumped into their tents.
C) They hid behind a rock.
D) They decided to explore the nearby woods.
2. Why did Lisa suggest jumping off the cliff into the pool below?
A) She thought it would be a fun way to cool off.
B) She wanted to impress her friends.
C) She remembered seeing a waterfall nearby.
D) She was afraid of the bear and moose.
3. What did the friends see in the distance during their camping trip?
A) A giant moose
B) A grizzly bear
C) Bighorn sheep
D) A beautiful waterfall
4. Why did the friends continue their camping trip after the bear and moose encounter?
A) They wanted to continue exploring the mountain scenery.
B) They thought it would be fun to encounter more animals.
C) They had no other choice but to keep going.
D) They wanted to confront the bear and moose.
5. What can you infer about the friends from their decision to jump off the cliff?
A) They were experienced cliff jumpers.
B) They were willing to take risks to escape danger.
C) They were not very intelligent.
D) They were not scared of the bear and moose.
1. Answer: B) They jumped into their tent.
Explanation: The story states that the friends “quickly scrambled to their tents to play it safe” when they heard rustling in the bushes at night, suggesting that they were trying to get away from whatever was causing the noise.
2. Answer: D) She was afraid of the bear and moose.
Explanation: Although Lisa may have also remembered seeing the waterfall, the story suggests that the friends were in a panic and had no other options, so Lisa suggested jumping off the cliff as a way to escape the bear and moose.3. Answer: C) Bighorn sheep
Explanation: The story states that the friends “explored more of the beautiful mountain scenery and even saw some bighorn sheep grazing in the distance,” indicating that they saw the sheep during their trip.
4. Answer: A) They wanted to continue exploring the mountain scenery.
Explanation: The story states that the friends decided to make the best of it and continue their camping trip after losing the bear and moose, suggesting that they were still interested in exploring the beautiful scenery.
5. Answer: B) They were willing to take risks to escape danger.
Explanation: The story suggests that the friends were in a panic and had no other options when they came across the cliff, but they still decided to jump off to escape the bear and moose, indicating that they were willing to take risks to protect themselves.
Easy (Recall and Comprehend):
- What is the story about?
- Where did the friends go camping?
- What did the friends hear while they were roasting marshmallows?
Intermediate (Analyze and Interpret):
- How did the friends react when they saw the moose?
- What happened when the friends stumbled upon the grizzly bear?
- What did Lisa suggest they do when they were trapped by the bear?
Advanced (Analyze and Interpret):
- How can we balance our desire to explore the wilderness and experience nature with the need to protect and respect the habitats of wild animals?
- The characters in this story faced dangerous situations but ultimately found humor in their experience. How can humor and positivity help us cope with difficult situations?
- In what ways can the lessons learned from this camping trip be applied to other areas of life, such as in the workplace or personal relationships?
- How does our exposure to nature and the outdoors affect our mental and emotional well-being?
- What role do cultural attitudes and values play in shaping our relationship with nature, and how can we promote more sustainable and respectful attitudes towards the environment?
Because people learn and process language differently, a number of different activities have been prepared to accommodate a variety of learning styles (or modalities).
Verbal (Auditory): Imagine you are one of the friends who encountered the bear. How do you describe your feelings and actions to a friend who wasn’t there?
Verbal (Auditory): You are the bear. How do you describe the encounter with the four friends to another animal in the forest?
Hands-on (Kinesthetic) and Verbal (Auditory): You are a park ranger who finds the friends after their encounter with the bear. How do you ensure their safety and provide them with assistance?
Hands-on (Kinesthetic) and Verbal (Auditory): You are a survival expert who has heard about the friends’ encounter with the bear. What advice do you give them to prevent such situations in the future?
Verbal (Auditory): You are a journalist interviewing the four friends after their camping trip. What questions do you ask to get their perspectives on the adventure?
Verbal (Auditory): You are one of the friends who jumps off the cliff into the pool below. How do you describe the experience and the decision to jump to someone who wasn’t there?
Hands-on (Kinesthetic) and Verbal (Auditory): You are a therapist who specializes in adventure-based counseling. How would you work with the four friends to process their experience and build resilience for future outdoor adventures?
Survival Strategies: Have students work in small groups and imagine they are in the same situation as the four friends in the story. Each group must come up with a list of survival strategies that they would use in case they encounter a wild animal while camping.
Map Making: Provide students with a blank map of the area where the story takes place. Have them draw and label important landmarks, such as the waterfall, the cliff, and the campsite. Encourage them to use descriptive language to explain the significance of each location.
Animal Research: Assign each student an animal that is commonly found in the Utah mountains, such as moose, mountain lions, big hornsheep, or black bear. Have them research the animal and present their findings to the class, including facts about its behavior, habitat, and diet.
Alternate Endings: Have students work in pairs or small groups and come up with alternate endings to the story. Encourage them to think creatively and to consider how the characters’ decisions might have affected the outcome.
Survival Skits: Have students create skits that depict different scenarios in which the characters in the story must use their survival skills to overcome obstacles, such as escaping from a dangerous animal or finding food and water.
Mountain Safety Tips: Have students research and compile a list of safety tips for camping in the mountains. Encourage them to think about potential dangers and how to avoid them.
Wildlife Encounter Debate: Divide the class into two groups and have them debate the best course of action when encountering a wild animal while camping. Encourage students to support their arguments with facts and examples.
Naturalist Observations: Have students spend time in nature and observe the wildlife and scenery around them. Encourage them to take notes and sketch what they see, and then discuss their observations as a class.
Real-Life Survival Stories: Have students research and present real-life stories of people who have survived dangerous encounters with wild animals or other natural disasters. Encourage them to consider the skills and strategies used by the survivors.
Nature Writing: Have students write descriptive essays or poems about the natural scenery and wildlife depicted in the story. Encourage them to use sensory language and to reflect on their personal experiences with nature.
One classroom language game based on this story is “Word Chain.”
- Divide the class into two teams.
- Choose a starting word related to the story, such as “camping.”
- Team 1 must come up with a word related to camping that starts with the last letter of “camping,” such as “gear.”
- Team 2 must come up with a word related to “gear” that starts with the last letter of “gear,” such as “rope.”
- The game continues until one team cannot think of a word within a set time limit, or a team repeats a word that has already been used.
- The team with the most words at the end of the game wins.
This game can help students practice vocabulary related to camping and the story while also encouraging quick thinking and collaboration within a team.