Timeless Thursday: The Mitten by Jan Brett
January 7, 2010 in Art activities, Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Brett Jan, Elementary Educators, Making Predictions, Picture Book, Polacco, Patricia, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Sequence Practice, Timeless Thursdays Tags: Jan Brett, Patricia Polacco, The Mitten, Thunder Cake, Timeless Thursday
Today, in East Central Illinois, I am surrounded by snow and wind and chilly temperatures. So what’s a better Timeless Thursday book to remember today than The Mitten by Jan Brett? I remember when I was studying to be an elementary education teacher in the early 1990s, and everybody raved about Jan Brett–especially The Mitten. In one of my classes, we had to do a cross-curriculum unit on a book where we created activities in various subjects such as math, social studies, science, and reading. I did Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco, but one of my classmates did Jan Brett’s The Mitten. And I was smitten.
One of the best things about this book is the art and the border around each page that Jan Brett has become famous for. Not only are her illustrations wonderful and something I could never imagine doing in a million years, the borders are clever and help readers predict which animals might enjoy the boy’s mitten next. For example, the text on one page is discussing how Nicki lost his mitten. The border is showing us mole tracks on one page and a mole on the next. Then the next page’s text is about the mole finding the mitten and resting inside.
This Timeless Thursday Jan Brett classic, which is 21 years old in 2010, can be used in the classroom in so many ways. Many art teachers use her border idea for art projects in elementary art lessons. Teachers use The Mitten to work on predicting or sequencing skills and read tales from other lands (this story comes from a Ukrainian tradition). Parents can share this wonderful book at bedtime, use it to develop an interest in knitting, and even to talk about responsibility with their children. I mean, how many of us have lost a mitten? I have! I should probably have mine tied to my winter coat as we speak.
The Mitten by Jan Brett is a great winter book to share with children at home or at school!