Guest Author - Alissa Moy
With the recent cold snap here in Central Florida we finally had a chance to use our mittens! I forgot how warm and toasty mittens are, and it got me thinkng about some cute teaching ideas using the mittens theme.
No theme on mittens would be complete without reading Jan Brett's classic book, "The Mitten". Start the pre reading with your homeschoolers by asking what they already know about mittens. Are there any in the house? If so, bring them out! Write descriptions of how the mittens feel, and what they look like. Aim to list at least 10 adjectives to describe the mittens. Older children can find synonyms using a Thesaurus as well.
Read this classic story aloud, then elicit discussion post reading. Visit Jan Brett's site after reading for a cute craft activity, too. Print and color the animal masks from "The Mitten". Consider reading the story again using the characters alongside the story telling.
Another great cooking craft is creating "Mitten Sandwiches". Using any choice of bread and filling cut out mitten shaped mini sandwiches. If you have a mitten cookie cutter that would work nicely as well. Ask your children to design special sandwich fillings, like peanut butter and apple butter, or vegetable cream cheese and sliced cucumber.
Using construction paper make a mitten pattern and cut it out. Then recreate 9 more mittens, having 10 in total. On 5 of the mittens write an adjective from the book that has an opposite. Using the last 5 mittens write the antonym for each of the words. For example, the fire was "warm" in the story, but the snow was "cold". Or, the boy was "young", but the grandmother was "old". A third example is that the mouse was "small", while the bear was "big". Put out the mittens and ask your child to read the adjectives aloud and match the opposites. Older children can write a sentence for the words too.
There is a link to print all of the adorable animals in the mitten to use when retelling the story, too. This helps to practice sequencing skills. You can use the mitten pattern from there too, as a tool for the mitten opposites activity above. The mitten pattern can be stapled together to use as a mitten to place the paper animals in when retelling the story. Or, if you have a larger real mitten, you can use that when retelling the story. Animal figures also work well in lieu of paper ones.
Enjoy this warm and fun mini unit!