In this lesson, students will practice making predictions based on visual clues in a text. They will also sequence a story using an author-provided handout and extend the lesson with a simple craft activity.
To practice prediction and story sequencing using a traditional tale.
Each student will sequence Jan Brett’s The Mitten by listening to the story, marking a number on each of the animals, then cutting out the animals and gluing them to the outside of a single mitten.
Introduce the idea that stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and need to be told in order. It would not make sense to tell the ending of a story first! In today’s story, the author gives us several clues as to what comes next in the story. Look for the clues and keep track of this story with simple numbers written on the animal characters.
Teach The Mitten by Jan Brett. You may wish to explain that Ms. Brett has adapted a Ukrainian folktale. Point out where Ukraine is on a world map. Explain that Ukraine receives a lot of snow in the winter. For children who are unfamiliar with snow, you may need to describe it. Ask children some of the following thinking questions to help them prepare for the story:
- If it is very cold and snowy, how must you dress if you want to go outside?
- What does a snowy landscape look like?
- What do you have to be careful about if you go out in the snow?
- Do animals like to go out in the snow?
- What is fun to do in the snow?
Make sure that every child has a handout of all the animals found in The Mitten. I like to use the one Ms. Brett supplies directly on her website: http://janbrett.com/put_the_animals_in_the_mitten.htm
Explain that as the animals appear in the story, the children should put a number on them. Example: Mole #1, Rabbit #2, Hedgehog #3, etc. Be sure that the children are picking up on Ms. Brett’s visual clues in the mitten page borders! They will love watching to see what is coming next.
After the story has wrapped up, have the children retell it using their numbered animals.
Finally, let the children cut out a mitten and glue all the animals on the mitten, “stuffing” the mitten just like in the story. If you have time and want to make this lesson extra special, pair a right mitten with a left mitten from Ms. Brett’s website. Then, the children can place the animals inside the mitten exactly like happened in the story. The mittens should remain white, but the children could color the animals.
Bring the children back together to wrap-up with these big ideas:
- Stories usually have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Stories need to be told in order, or in a sequence, to make sense.
- If we are good listeners, we can remember the sequence and then retell the story!
- It is fun to tell the Ukrainian folktale, The Mitten. Jan Brett has retold it and we can, too!
- What other stories can you sequence and then retell?
- The Mitten by Jan Brett.
- Copies of the animals in the story.
- Copies of the mitten(s) found in the story.
- Pencils, scissors, and glue.
- Jan Brett resources for The Mitten, found on her web site here: http://janbrett.com/put_the_animals_in_the_mitten.htm
Recommended books for this lesson:
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Ukraine, Folktales, Winter, Story Sequencing, Mittens, Grandmothers, Grandsons, Forests, Animals, Snow