Being a teacher I love bringing thematic learning to my classroom. This time of the year is tough, major holidays are over and spring is just around the corner but winter clothing still needs to be worn. During this time of year I would bring out my mitten unit for my primary students.
I have to start with this little song. I would sing to my students and I still sing to my three children, much to the embarrassment of my 9 year old daughter:
Thumb in the thumb hole,
Fingers all together,
These are the songs we sing in mitten weather
The perfect book to accompany this unit is of course Jann Brett’s “The Mitten”
If you have not read “The Mitten” here is a brief synopsis courtesy of Good Reads:
When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing.
One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax.
As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the boarders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on.
Once again Jan Brett has created a dramatic and beautiful picture book in her distinctive style. She brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition from which the story comes.
One of my favourite characteristics of the book are the illustrations. There is the main story within the pages of the text, but then there is a second story going on within the frame of the illustrations. I would intentionally not tell my students about the second story. Listening to their squeals as they discovered the secret story is an amazing experience as a teacher.
To further the learning I have added a couple of activity pages to do at home with your little ones.
This is one of the best YouTube videos of The Mitten, I have used it in my classroom many times!