“Corduroy,” a classic children's book by Don Freeman, describes the adventures of a curious teddy bear. Corduroy explores a giant department store while looking for his lost button and is found by a kindly night watchman. Pique the curiosity of the children in your class with literacy-related activities for this timeless book.

Teddy Bear Graph

Children can use teddy bears brought from home for a graphing activity.
Children can use teddy bears brought from home for a graphing activity.

Invite children to bring their teddy bears to listen to the story. After reading, tell the children to group the teddy bears by size or color. As a class, create a graph to display information about the number of bears in each group. Challenge the children to sort the teddy bears into new groups based on articles of clothing worn by the bears. Graph the number of bears wearing shirts, pants, dresses, vests or shoes.

School Maps

Children can follow a map to find Corduroy.
Children can follow a map to find Corduroy.

Before the activity, hide a teddy bear somewhere in the school building. Draw a simple map of the school for each child or group of children. Tell the class that Corduroy is lost and that they must use the map to find him. Give directions to Corduroy’s location aloud while children draw a path on the map. Allow the children to follow the path they have drawn on the map to locate Corduroy.

Button Activities

Use buttons for art projects or math games.
Use buttons for art projects or math games.

Encourage children to bring buttons from home for a classroom button collection. Use the buttons for sorting and patterning activities or simple addition and subtraction problems. (Create a button collage during art time. Let each child take a button and tell a story about where the button came from and how it was lost.

Sewing Buttons

Make buttons using yarn, paint and a paper plate.
Make buttons using yarn, paint and a paper plate.

Safely sew a button for Corduroy with a paper plate and some yarn. Paint the bottom of the paper plate and let it dry. Punch four holes in a square shape in the center of the plate. Sew yarn through the holes in an “X” shape and secure loose ends with tape. Punch holes around the edges of the plate for interested children to continue sewing.

Paper Bag Puppets

Decorate a paper bag to make a Corduroy puppet.
Decorate a paper bag to make a Corduroy puppet.

Create Corduroy puppets from lunch-sized paper bags. Allow children to decorate brown paper bags with markers, green construction paper or fabric scraps to look like Corduroy. Provide an assortment of buttons for older children or offer paper circles for younger children. Encourage children to retell the story using the puppets.

Group Games

Incorporate teddy bears into traditional children's games such as musical chairs.
Incorporate teddy bears into traditional children's games such as musical chairs.

Play simple group games that relate to the book, such as “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?” or “Going On a Bear Hunt.” Sing songs about bears including “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” and “The Bear Went Over the Mountain.” Try playing a round of musical chairs while holding teddy bears, or running in a teddy bear relay race.