Focus Story: 
The Mitten by Jan Brett

Companion Story
Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone

Companion Rhyme: 


Day 1

Old Favorites:   Reread charts/poems from previous stories

Prior Knowledge: 

Make a graph of the type of coverings students wear on their hands in the winter (gloves, mittens, or neither)  Discuss why we wear hand coverings and the difference between gloves and mittens.

Focus Story:

 Introduce title, author, and cover and discuss what the story might be about; Picture walk making sure to discuss the detailed illustrations on the main portion of the pages and on the borders of each page (setting, clothing, animals) stopping before last page; Read aloud for enjoyment and to see how story ends.

    Day 2

    Companion Rhyme:

    Introduce companion rhyme 'Mittens' (intro words such as 'wool' and 'knit'; Read aloud for enjoyment using the picture cues to assist)

    This poem is from Whole Language Units for Favorite Tales by Cerbus and Rice:Teacher Created Materials (1995).

    Focus Story: 

    Reread with a focus on comprehension.  Ask a variety of questions such as…Why didn't Nicki's grandmother want to make him white mittens? Why do you think the animals want to be inside his mitten?  Where would the animals usually be during the winter? Why do you think the animals inside the mitten keep allowing other animals to enter? Do you think this story could really happen? How did Nicki find his mitten? How did the mitten change throughout the story?  What do you think Nicki's grandmother will say to him when he brings home the stretched out mitten?

    Companion Story:

    Introduce companion story Three Little Kittens in which more mittens are lost: Introduce title, author, cover; Read aloud having students make predictions as to how the kittens correct each mistake that they make.


    Day 3

    Companion Rhyme:

    Reread companion rhyme 'Mittens' – echo read, Have students listen and locate rhyming words, opposites, color words, etc.

    Companion Story:  Reread- Shared Reading

    Focus Story: 

    Using cut outs of a mitten and the animal characters, have students assist in an oral retelling of the story. (Students can also color and cut out their own mitten and characters during small group time today.)


        Day 4

        Companion Story:   Reread- Shared Reading; Using the overhead, highlight/mask letters m, k, l, n. etc.

        Focus Story: 

        Review the story by performing and acting it out by letting students wear animal masks (from Jan Brett's website) of the character they are to be. As each animal enters the mitten (a large white sheet), sing 'The Mitten' phoneme substitution song to the tune of 'The Farmer in the Dell'.

        The mole is in the mitten.
        The mole is in the mitten.
        Mi-mo the merry-o
        The mole is in the mitten.
        (This idea is from Winter Phonemic Awareness Songs and Rhymes by Jordano and Callella-Jones: Creative Teaching Press, 1998.)

        Companion Rhyme:   Reread companion rhyme 'Mittens' (choral reading ½ class)

        Interactive Writing: 

        Discuss with students other things that they should wear in the winter.  Show a cut out of a child.   As students brainstorm items we should wear in winter, either have pre-made clothing that you can attach to the child cut out or draw the clothing on. Then, have students assist in writing the name of each item on sentence strips. Attach the sentence strip labels near each piece of winter clothing.


        Day 5

        Companion Rhyme: 

        Reread companion rhyme 'Mittens' (choral reading ½ class); Also read all clothing labels from yesterday's interactive chart.

        Focus Story: 

        Review the beginning, middle, and end of the story by having students assist in the writing of a short 3 sentence summary. Have students act out the story using the animal masks from yesterday. 

        Take Home: 

        Work with students to make their own 'Mittens' booklet that have the same wording as the class poem. Students work to write in the missing beginning or ending letter from a few of the words on each page (r, m, w, f, l, s, h, y,) and then color the booklet.   Reread as a class and then students take home the booklet to share with their families over and over!

        Related Read Aloud Stories/Poems

        Focus Story: The Mitten by Jan Brett
        Companion Story: Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone
        Companion Rhyme: Mittens

        All You Need For a Snowman by Alice Schertle
        Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
        Caps, Hats, Socks, and Mittens by Louise Borden
        Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
        The Hat by Jan Brett
        The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel
        The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg
        The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt
        Snow on Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman
        Snow by Manya Stojic
        Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
        Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
        Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
        When Winter Comes by Pearl Neuman
        'Winter' predictable poem
        'Snow' predictable poem (from Totline "Take Home" Books: Reproducible Pre-Reading Books for Young Children by Jean Warren: Warren Publishing House, 1990)
        'Hibernation' poem (from Building Literacy with Interactive Charts by Schlosser and Phillips: Scholastic, 1992)


        Possible Cross Curricular Connections


        1) Construct a paper nowman; Create a snowy booklet by tearing white paper to make snow


        1) Mitten Measuring- measure the length of a mitten using Unifix cubes/Legos/blocks, cotton balls, pennies, and inches (also Glove Measuring
        2) Create snowflakes using paper pattern block shapes

        3) Match mittens (numerals to corresponding number of dots, patterns to patterns)


        1) Set up flannel board with a mitten and all the characters from the story for oral retelling
        2) Place the book at the listening center
        3) Create a Venn Diagrams comparing versions of The Mitten
        4) Focus Letters-m, k, w, s
        5) Place mittens in alphabetical order
        6) Match mittens (letters to pictures, upper case letters to lowercase letters)
        7) Label a cut out of a child dressed for the winter weather

          Music/Movement:  'Five Little Snowmen Fat' or 'Ten Little Snowmen' number rhyme

          Fine Motor:  Lace mittens

          Related Resources:
          Printable Mitten and Animals (from Jan Brett's website) 
          Printable Animal Masks (from Jan Brett's website)
          Lacing Mitten Pattern
          Animals From The Mitten (coloring sheet from Jan Brett's website)
          More Mitten Ideas (various grade levels)