Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is There Room in "The Mitten" For All of Us?

How wonderful it was to see the children come back to school on Wednesday morning all bundled up and full of excitement. They couldn't wait to share their stories and treasures with the class after a few weeks of being away.
I couldn't wait to get started with one of my favorite January read alouds, "The Mitten", a Ukrainian folktale retold by Jan Brett. A boy named Nicki doesn't realize that he dropped his white mitten in the snow. One by one, woodland animals find the mitten and crawl inside. First a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger, an owl, fox and others. Finally, a big brown bear snuggles in and is followed by a tiny brown mouse - no bigger than an acorn. The bear's nose gets tickled, he sneezes and all of the animals come shooting out of the mitten. Eventually, Nicki finds the mitten but its huge size is most puzzling.
Yesterday, our activity was for the students to construct a glyph. A glyph is
a non standard way of graphing a variety of information to tell a story. It uses symbols to represent different data. The creation of glyphs requires problem solving and data organization. The glyph was based on personal information about each student. The first area was age - if the child was five years old he/she cut out a red mitten - if six years old then a blue mitten. If the student likes winter then he/she put polka dots on the mitten. If the student likes summer, then stars went on the mitten. Finally, if he/she has a pair of mittens, then cotton went on the ribbing of the mitten. If he/she has a pair of gloves, then a bow went on the mitten. After the mittens were completed, each class member had a chance to share his/her mitten and class then "read" each mitten. For instance, when Blane was holding up his mitten another student said, "You are five years old, you like summer, and you have a pair of gloves. " Then Blane said, "Hey, how did you know that?" and the class said, "He read your mitten!" "Oh that's right," he laughed!
Today for Reader's Workshop, as I reread the book, the students acted out the characters. This included a badger with his diggers, a rabbit with his kickers, and an owl with his glinty talons. All of the animal cut outs can be found on Jan Brett.com click on activities -- then masks.
Meanwhile, if the weather stays as cold as it has been for the last few days, we will all be looking in Nicki's mitten for a place to keep warm!!

2 comments:

dayle said...

What adorable activities for a frosty morning! dayle

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Mallon,
You continue to amaze me with the activities you provide for our children! They are blessed to have such a rich learning environment!

Thank you!

Tracy Milligan