Thursday, July 7, 2011

Smokey Bear

Traveling across this great land of ours, I saw the many lush and green forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. I couldn’t help but think about those brave individuals that help save these national treasures when a wildfire breaks out. Just about that time, I heard a news flash stating that wildfires had sparked across the state of New Mexico.
New Mexico, I thought over and over in my head. Isn’t that where Smokey Bear was found back in the 50’s? A muse had surfaced in my memory.
It was the spring of 1950, and a wildfire had broken out in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. After the fire, a group of soldiers, who had helped fight the fire, rescued a bear cub. It had climbed a tree to escape the blaze, and his paws and hind legs had been badly burned.
The soldiers named him “Hotfoot Teddy” but his name was later changed to Smokey Bear, and the bear became the national symbol and mascot for forest fire prevention. He was given a home at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. where millions of people came to visit him.
Smokey Bear received up to 13,000 letters a week addressed specifically to him. He received so much mail that the United States Postal Service gave him his own zip code (20252).
In hopes of producing an heir to Smokey, the National Zoo paired Smokey with a female bear named “Goldie”. The couple never had a cub, so another rescued cub from the Lincoln National Forest was given to the couple. News headlines across America read something like this: Smokey and Goldie adopt a cub.
This cub was given the name, Little Smokey, and he would eventually become “Smokey Bear II” after Smokey Bear was retired from his role in 1971.
Smokey Bear died in 1976. Smokey Bear II died in 1990. But there message will always live on: ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!
With this new knowledge what kind of story could you write? Maybe these “what if” questions will help get you started.
WHAT IF your character found a bear cub in a forest? Maybe there had been a wildfire or maybe not. What would your character do?
WHAT IF Smokey Bear was able to talk? Could you write down his story from his point of view? Maybe he has come to visit your school and plans to tell you what it was like to survive a wildfire and what it was like to be a national mascot for forest fire prevention.
What if your character woke up one morning and found their bedroom window opened. They look down on the floor and bear cub is staring them in the eyes?
The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own “what if” questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us!
With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon
P.S. The word of the week is wildfire. Here is the definition: any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or wilderness area.


  1. 1.What if smokey bear was a skunk?
    2.What if smokey took a ride on a space shuttle?
    3.What if smokey had an octopus head?
    4.What if smokey liked to eat people?
    5.What if I thought that i was smokey?
    6.What if Smokey's fangs were long like a saber-tooth tigers?
    7.What if a wild-fire destroyed the entire earth?
    8.What if smokey was immortal?
    9.What if smokey had x-ray vision?
    10.What if smokey had a handlebar mustache?
    11. What if smokey had pneumonia?
    12.what if smokey was my role model???

  2. What if....
    1. The bear ate hamburgers for snack?
    2.The bear pooped butterfly's?
    3. The bear was Justin beibers biggest fan?
    4. The bear grew magic beans in his backyard?
    5. The bear grew every time he ate mcdonalds?
    6. The bear put mayo on everything he ate?
    7. The bear had dreams about coca-cola?
    8. The bear drank coca cola?
    9. The bear liked to wear fancy clothing?
    10. the bear went to a really nice college?

  3. Hello Prof. Watermelon I am from Mr.Johnsons class I LOVE YOUR BLOG! There are so many interesting stories i think i found my MUSE!

  4. I'm glad you love my blog, and I can't wait to visit you and the rest of Mr. Johnson's class again! I was so impressed with you all last Friday. You made my day so fun, and I can't stop thinking about it!

    See you soon!

    Prof. Watermelon

  5. What if Smokey bear said "I want you at my party"?
    What if smokey bear was at school?

  6. 1. what if a smokey bear was a friend to all people?
    2. what if a smokey bear actually existed?
    3. what if a smokey bear ate 2,000 people?
    4. what if a smokey bear met you at a gas station?
    5. what if the manager of a resteraunt was a smokey bear?
    6. what if a smokey bear dug a big tunnel to another secret world?
    7. what if you married a smokey bear.
    8. what if you had a contest against a smokey bear on who can catch more fish?
    9. what if a smokey bear set the whole world on fire?
    10. what if a smokey bear became a Legend?
    11. what if a smokey bear took over all of the oceans on earth?
    12. what if a smokey bear had wings and could fly?
    13. what if a smokey bear ate ice cream?
    14. what if a smokey bear got a brain freeze?
    15. what if a smokey bear turned into a giant?
    16. what if a smokey bear turned into a human?
    17 what if a smokey bear lived in a house?
    18. what if a smokey bear could run as fast as lightening?
    19. what if a smokey bear had a force field to protect itself?
    20. what if a smokey bear could control weather and skies?