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On the Road with Gritzley the GRITS Bear

Introduction. On the Road with Gritzley the GRITS Bear is an online collaborative project offering a collection of technology-enriched learning activities designed to stimulate interest, support state curriculum standards, and spark collaboration among schools in the southeast. It offers classes opportunities to appropriately use many common technology applications available to schools.

Gritzley's Projects.

  1. Southern LiterBeary Portraits--In this activity, students will lead GRITS’ favorite “cub” reporter on an investigation into the lives and works of at least one famous “literBEARY” figure from their state.
  2. Where in the Southeast is Gritzley?--This activity requires students to research selected topics and collect data related to their local area.
  3. Gritzley's Scrapbook and Souvenirs--In this activity, students are asked to take digital pictures of Gritzley as he visits local venues and/or experiences local culture. Students will be asked to word process journal entries (written from Gritzley’s point-of-view) describing the highlights of his adventures.
  4. Digital Quilting with Gritzley--This activity provides students the opportunity to expand their awareness of the diversity reflected within their own community by researching its unique characteristics, creating a digital quilt patch, and an accompanying narrative.
  5. News Across the Southeast--This activity leverages the power of the Internet to provide students the opportunity to share stories of local interest and/or significance with a global audience. Students will capture stories from the headlines of their local newspapers and write brief news summaries.
  6. Southeast Settlers, Immigrants--This activity provides students with an opportunity to research and publish reports on the people who have settled in their state or local area.
  7. Plants and Animals of the Southeast--In this activity, students will introduce Gritzley to the numerous plants and animals found in their immediate environment.

Gritzley's Story. Gritzley is a member of a unique family of bears whose business is to help students use technology as a tool for enhancing learning. To succeed in his family business, Gritzley travels to schools throughout the southeast in a box full of learning activities. The scope of each activity is broadly defined, yet each requires a specific product. This format will permit greater flexibility for teachers as they incorporate content objectives and instructional strategies, while it produces several consistent products among all participants. There is no defined sequence for doing the activities, but teachers need to adequately plan for them, as Gritzley only visits for four weeks. Seven activities are offered, and teachers may choose to do as many as they can accommodate.

Click here to download and personalize the story of Gritzley for your students, as illustrated by the children of St. Mark's Episcopal School, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. [Word file].

Procedures for Participation.

  1. Preview Gritzley’s Projects to ensure the activities are appropriate for your grade level or classroom. There are seven activities in all, and a teacher may choose to do as many as he/she feels is appropriate.
  2. Gritzley Bear is available for school visits during the school year. So that we can accommodate as many schools as possible, Gritzley's visit cannot exceed three weeks.
  3. Classes wishing to participate must register. To register, send an e-mail to Jeni O'Sullivan ( Please include the following information in your e-mail:
    * Teacher's name
    * School name
    * School address (Street, City, Zip)
    * Telephone number where the teacher can be reached (preferably at school)
    * Grade level of participating class
    * Date you would like Gritzley to arrive at your school
    * E-mail address (preferably the teacher's)
    * URL of your school's website (if applicable)
    * Geographical setting of your school (urban, rural, or suburban).
  4. Once registered, the teacher will receive a confirmation e-mail. The message will confirm Gritzley’s estimated time of arrival.
  5. When Gritzley arrives at a participating school, he will be accompanied by a packet containing details of the activities in his “Itinerary,” instructions for his safe return, and other ancillary material.
  6. Once Gritzley is returned, some products from his experiences may be incorporated into the GRITS Web site. Each participating teacher will be notified if his/her class products are posted.