Purpose:  This activity dovetails well with the Mitten Play activity.  It provides an extended opportunity for discussing the seasons, clothing, and winter.  You can also use it to provide the children with a few versions of the classic Ukrainian folk tale of The Mitten.  Children will enjoy finding the similarities and differences between the various versions of this story, which will help them develop comprehension and pay attention to detail -- essential skills for learning to read.



Materials/Advance Preparation:



  1. Read two of the mitten stories. 
  2. Ask the children what things in the two stories were the same.  Refer to the stories themselves to answer any questions.
  3. Ask children what things in the two stories were different, again referring to the texts to answer questions.   Encourage discussion and referral to specifics in each story.
  4. To make the mittens -- have the children put their hands, thumb tips nearly touching, on the oaktag.!!! | Four fingers should be together and thumbs spread apart.
  5. Trace both of each child's hands (make the tracings a little larger than their hands and round the mitten above the four fingers).
  6. Demonstrate for the children how they can make a pair of matching mittens.!!! | If you make three stripes on one do the same to the other.!!! | They should lay them on the table thumb to thumb so that there is a right mitten and a left mitten.
  7. Display the pairs of mittens with the children's names beneath them and a sign saying "My Mittens."

Notes: Children love to compare the many versions of the Mitten story.  The story comes from the Ukraine and is quite old.!!! | Each has a number of different animals that squeeze into the mitten to keep warm.!!! | See the Mitten Play activity.


Eric Gidseg


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