Information provided on this page for classroom use only; not for reproduction. 2004






Magical Mittens


Mittens for the snow time
When the world is white.
Mittens for my two hands.
Mittens left and right.

Mittens with a thumb place.
Mittens warm and snug.
Mittens make me feel like
A bug inside a rug!

~ Author Unknown ~





The Mitten ~ Jan Brett

The Mitten ~ Alvin Tresselt

The Mitten Tree ~ Candace Christiansen

The Three Little Kittens

The Missing Mitten Mystery ~ Steven Kellogg

M is for Mittens - A Michigan Alphabet ~ Annie Appleford

Missing Mittens ~ Stuart Murphy

Buying Mittens ~ Nankichi Niimi (a Japanese fairy tale)

Caps, Hats, Socks, and Mittens: A Book About the 4 Seasons ~ Louise Borden

One Mitten - Kristine George




I have three pairs of mittens;
Yellow, red, and blue.
If I ever lose a pair,
I will still have two.

But it never works that way,
That's not the way it's done.
I never seem to lose the pair -
All I lose is one!

And at the end of winter,
I have three mittens there:
One blue, one red, one yellow,
But not a single pair!

~ Author Unknown ~


Warm Mittens
I wiggle my left hand,
I wiggle my right,
Inside of my mittens,
So warm and so tight.

I wiggle my pinkie,
I wiggle my thumb,
So when I make snowballs,
My hands don't get numb.

~ Author Unknown ~

Mittens are warm,
Mittens are grand,
Mittens are like shoes

For my hands.
~ Author Unknown ~

Stripes or dots or sparkling white,
Mittens in winter fit just right.
Wool and cotton, maybe leather-
Mittens warm us in cold weather.

In rainbow colors and darkest black,
Mittens fit in a pocket or in your pack.
Thumbs alone, fingers together,
We love mittens in the cold, cold weather.

~ Author Unknown ~

Colorful Mittens
(tune: Six Little Ducks)

Colorful mittens for me and you
Red ones, yellow ones, blue ones too.
But the one pair of mittens that rhymes with fellow,
They're my favorite mittens, they're the color yellow!

Replace with other rhyming pairs such as:

~ Author Unknown ~


* you can also cut out a mitten on the front of a file folder (like you would if you were making a stencil).  Then inside the folder place a sheet of construction paper the color of each "mitten" and as you sing the song/say the rhyme you remove the sheet of construction paper on the front.  This makes the mitten change colors to match the rhyme.  Once you've done the rhyme several times, you can pause before saying the color word and removing the paper to see if your students can provide the appropriate color using their rhyming skills.


The Mitten
(tune: 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.

The rabbit is in the mitten.
The rabbit is in the mitten.
Ri-ro the rerry-o,
The rabbit is in the mitten.


* continue changing animals and sounds to match

~ Author Unknown ~


Thumbs in the thumbs place
Fingers all together
This is the song we
Sing in mitten weather.

When it is cold
It doesn't matter whether
Mittens are made of wool
Or even finest leather.

Thumbs in the thumb place
Fingers all together
This is the song we
Sing in mitten weather.

~ Author Unknown ~


The Mitten

(tune: The Farmer in the Dell)


The mitten in the snow,

The mitten in the snow.

Help us please so we won't freeze,

The mitten in the snow.


A _____ squeezes in,

A _____ squeezes in.

Help us please so we won't freeze,

The mitten in the snow.


* continue with different animals

~ Author Unknown ~


Flannelboard Story: My students love this story.  We did it several times with the appropriate color felt mittens.  Then I put all the mittens on the board and said the rhyme leaving off the color word; they had to tell me which color mitten to pick up.


My poor little kitten lost her mitten
And started to cry, boo-hoo.
So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten.
Her beautiful mitten of BLUE.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my mother's bed.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored RED.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my father's pillow.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored YELLOW.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
On the hand of my brother's toy clown.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored BROWN.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the laundry so clean.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored GREEN.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside a grocery bag.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored BLACK.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the kitchen sink.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored PINK.

I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside my favorite shoe.
And this time the mitten was just the right mitten,
For it was colored BLUE!

~ Author Unknown ~


The Mitten: Before the students arrive, place a white construction paper mitten on your white board.  Read The Mitten by Jan Brett.  Then challenge the children to look around the room to find the mitten that you've hidden in the classroom.  Then discuss why the mitten was hard to find and camouflage and animals.


Art & Literature Connection: Have students decorate a white mitten so that it would be easier to find in the snow.


Drama:  Print out the animal masks from the link below.  Laminate and add a string to each mask for the students to wear around their neck.  After many rereadings of The Mitten, let students act out the book by getting into a large mitten shape that has been taped on the floor.  At the end with the mitten "explodes", have all students jump out of the mitten and scatter.


Students can also act out the story by climbing under a white sheet on the floor as a mitten.  I wouldn't suggest doing this with your beautiful animal masks on though as they are apt to get torn apart.


Retelling: Students can practice retelling The Mitten by placing animal picture cards into a real or paper mitten.  Jan Brett has a mitten pattern and animal pictures that can be used for this.  The link is below.


Class Retelling Prop:  You can create a prop for your class by creating a large white felt mitten.  Cut two and glue or lace the sides together leaving the top open.  Cotton could be added around the top edge if you chose for a furry look.  Students would then place laminated animal picture cards into the mitten in the correct sequence.


Class Book:  Have the class work together to rewrite the story of The Mitten.  They can change the grandmother and boy characters and have other kinds of animals crawl into the mitten.  Type the newly written story and add appropriate clipart illustrations or have students illustrate each page.  Laminate, bind, and place in your class library.


Sorting Animal Characters: Print out the animal picture cards at the link below for Jan Brett's Matching Animal Game.  Since this game has animals from more than one of Jan's books, have them sort the animals from The Mitten onto a large white construction paper mitten that has been laminated.  The animals not in The Mitten could be placed onto something else like an open book.


Opposites:  Use the story of The Mitten to discuss/reinforce opposites.


young/old (boy/grandmother)

empty/full (the mitten)

cold/hot (snow/fire)

small/big (mouse/bear)

inside/outside (the house or the mitten)

in/out (in the mitten/flying out of the mitten)


You can also make picture cards for these and use them in the pocketchart for matching.


Ordinals:  Program paper mittens with an ordinal 1st - 8th (I think).  Place vertically in pocketchart and have students sequence animals according to their ordinal place in the mitten.   After students are proficient at this, remove the ordinal mittens and mix them up.  Call out an ordinal and appoint a student to determine which animal is in that place.  If they're correct, allow them to place the mitten by the appropriate animal.


Take-Home Project: Provide each student with a mitten shape on cardstock or construction paper.  Send it home with a note to their family asking for help in decorating the mitten.  Encourage them to be creative.  Display them on a bulletin board or in the hallway.


Bulletin Board Border: Provide students with colored Ellison mitten cut-outs and craft supplies.  Have them use the supplies to decorate the mittens.  Add white cotton balls to the top of each mitten.  Place them around the edge of a bulletin board end-to-end.


The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt: Have more advanced students read the following sentence strips and put them in the correct order in the pocketchart.


The fox trotted into the mitten.

A big bear lumbered into the mitten.

Next, a green frog hopped right in.

A big gray wolf wanted in too.

A tiny mouse spied the mitten and went in.

A little cricket squeezed in too.

The mitten stretched to let a boar in.

Everyone made room for the rabbit.

The owl flew down and joined them.


Who & How?: Create a T-chart and program one side with WHO? and the other side with HOW?.  Have students tell WHO got in the mitten and then HOW they got in (from the Alvin Tresselt version).  Ex.




mole burrowed in



Compare/Contrast:  Use a Venn diagram to compare/contrast The Mitten by Jan Brett and The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt.


Patterns: Use mitten cut-outs to reinforce patterning.  Place the patterns in your pocketchart and have students reproduce the pattern below yours OR extend your pattern.  OR you can give them a card with a stated pattern (AB, ABC, or AABB, etc.) and have them create the specified pattern using the mittens in the pocketchart.  Another twist on this would be for you to create the patterns in the pocketchart using the mittens, then have the students match the pattern cards to the correct pattern.


Mitten Mobile: Cut a piece of construction paper in half vertically.  Form a cylinder with the strip of paper and staple.  Punch 4 or 5 holes around the bottom rim.  Have students choose 4 or 5 mitten cut-outs to decorate their mobile.  Decorate mittens if desired.  Hole punch the top of each mitten and attach a piece of yarn.  Tie each piece of yarn in one of the holes on the rim of the cylinder.  When complete, punch two more holes at the top of the cylinder.  Add another piece of yarn to use in hanging.


Mitten Glyph: Provide each student with a mitten shape.  Have them decorate the mitten according to the glyph ...


Girl - color thumb of mitten pink

Boy - color thumb of mitten blue


Like cold weather - color mitten purple

Don't like cold weather  - color mitten white


5 years old  - add 5 orange polka dots

6 years old - add 6 green stripes


If you like reading best - add cotton to the cuff

If you like math best - add a snowflake to the mitten using white yarn (like the one below in the picture)

OR you could provide them with an Ellison snowflake cut-out to glue on.


Graphing Mittens: Graph students mittens by color or provide mittens for students to color.  After they color their mittens, have them graph them by color by taping them onto a large graph to form a pictograph.  If appropriate, have them transfer the information onto individual bar graphs.


Sorting Mittens:  Younger students may enjoy sorting pairs of mittens.  You can ask parents to send in old mittens that no longer fit or are no longer used.  I picked up some baby mittens a few years back at Wal-Mart on clearance.  So keep an eye open for these, especially after the winter buying season is over.  Throw all the mittens into a basket and have students sort them into pairs.  If you have the room you can add a low clothesline to your classroom and let them hang the pairs side by side on the clothesline. 


This is also a good activity for reinforcing pairs, which is something that my first graders are working on in Saxon Math.  Have them sort the mittens in pairs and then draw a picture of their pairs, circling each pair on their paper.  Also have them record how many pairs and how many mittens.  A hard skill for mine!


Of course, all this could be done with paper Ellison mitten cut-outs, but it just won't be as much fun.


Matching:  Use Ellison mitten cut-outs for matching all kinds of skills.  They can be programmed with capital/lowercase letters, numbers/dots, colors/color words, numbers/number words, compound words, contractions, rhyming words, word families, etc.  You can also cut mittens from wallpaper samples for younger students to match.


ABC Order:  If you're working on ABC order or even sequencing ABCS, program mitten cut-outs with words/letters and let students sequence them on a clothesline.


Pocketchart Math:  Place mittens in a pocketchart along with number cards.  Students count mittens and match to correct number card.


Math Addition Mat:  Place two large mittens shapes on construction paper; add a plus sign between them.  Laminate.  Students will use these to practice adding using counters.  One mitten will hold the counters for one set and the other mitten will hold the counters for the second set.  To find out how many in all, count all counters.  You can use mini snowflake erasers for counters or mini marshmallows as snowballs!  PS ... make sure you make mats for both horizontal and vertical addition problems.


Mixed Up Mittens:  For those of you who live in really cold climates (and your students wear mittens to school daily) you can play Mixed Up Mittens.  Pile everyone's mittens in a basket in the middle of the floor.  Divide the class into two teams.  Send one person from each team to the basket to retrieve their mittens and put them on.  When they have both of their mittens on, them may go back and tag the next person on their team to go to the basket.  First team with their mittens on wins!


Fine Motor:  Place playdough and a mitten cookie cutters into a center.  If using metal cookie cutters like the one I recently purchased, make sure to wash it afterwards as the playdough may make it rust ... especially homemade playdough that is made with salt.


Mitten Cookies:  I recently purchased a metal mitten cookie cutter with this recipe (haven't tried it though).


Cream together 1 C. butter and 2/3 C sugar.  Beat in one egg.  Add 1t vanilla and 2 1/2C flour.  Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Chill dough 3 to 4 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out dough and cut.  Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until barely colored.  Frost and decorate!


Frosting: 3/4 C confectioners sugar

1 T butter

1 T milk

1/2 t vanilla

1/4 t lemon juice


Melt butter.  Combine all ingredients.  Beat until smooth.  Frost cookies when cool.  Makes 1/3 C.


Another Class Book:  Have each student complete the following sentence frame and illustrate their page.  Bind all pages into a class book.


My mitten is so big a ____ could fit inside.


Estimation:  Have students estimate how many animal counters can fit into a mitten.  Record their responses and then discuss.


Measuring:  Measure how long a mitten is using different non-standard measurements and record the answers on a response sheet.


___ unifix cubes long


___ paperclips long


___ snowflakes long (mini counters)


___ pencils long


Use mittens to measure the length of a table, desk, etc.  Record answers on response sheet.


Handprint Mittens:  Have students create their own mittens using their hands.  Have them loosely trace around each hand onto construction paper without going between each finger.  Cut out and decorate.  If studying standard measurement, have them cut an 8 inch piece of yarn to hang between the two mittens for displaying.


Counting by 5s:  Help students understand counting by 5s by displaying mittens counting by 5s (five fingers in each mitten).  1st mitten labeled with 5, 2nd mitten labeled with 10, 3rd mitten labeled with 15, etc.


Art Project:  Give each student a mitten shape on construction paper.  Have them choose colors for their mitten then tear up pieces of appropriate colored construction paper and glue onto their mitten.  Leave room at the cuff of the mitten to add white construction paper or white cotton for fur.  When dry, add colored polka dots made using whole punch or a white Ellison die-cut snowflake.  Cut out mitten and display on bulletin board, clothesline or hang from ceiling.


Fingerpainting:  Have students fingerpaint onto a large sheet of paper.  When dry, fold paper in half.  Cut out a mitten shape.  Glue, staple, or lace edges together and stuff with tissue paper. 


Mitten Wreath:  Cut the center from a white paper plate.  Cut out lots of different colors of mittens using the Ellison machine.  Glue mittens onto the "wreath" (white paper plate) overlapping them to cover up all white of the plate.  Hotglue a white raffia bow on the bottom.


TLC style Mitten:  I change the TLC projects to use with my students.  I don't have the time to spend having them snip corners etc. to make the shapes they need.  And that's not to say that the TLC projects aren't worthwhile like they are ... many teachers positively RAVE about them, but for me and mine, I don't have that kind of time.  Soooo, I give my students the pattern pieces, they cut them out and assemble.  I usually do it with them before hand, then they have a model to use when creating their own.  Then they're left on their own to work while I continue on with other lessons.


The students cut out the main mitten part and then the thumb.  They glue the thumb piece underneath the main part, then crisscross 4 white strips to form the snowflake.  Hole reinforcers are added to the end of each strip and white cotton is glued to the top.  The mitten is the size of a sheet of construction paper.




The Mitten Piggyback Song: This song was written and shared with me by Cheryle of Barrie, Ontario.  Thanks for sharing your cute song, Cheryle! :)


(tune: Miss Molly had a Dolly)

Baba knit the mittens that were white, white, white
Niki lost his mitten out of sight, sight, sight
The mole crawled in, and the rabbit too
The hedgehog came and the mitten grew

A badger entered, and the red fox, too
The bear sniffed the mitten and it grew, grew, grew
Last to come was the little mouse
He crawled in to the mitten house

His whiskers tickled the nose of the bear
The sneeze blew the animals into the air
Niki saw his mitten fly up in the sky
And caught it in his hand as it flew by

Baba knit the mittens that were white white white
Niki lost his mitten out of sight, sight, sight
Creatures crawled in and it was tight, tight, tight
Now one is giant and the other just right.
~ Cheryle Stevenson


Counting:  Make mitten math mats and program each mitten with a number 0-10, or 0-20.  Have students count snowballs (white pompoms or cotton balls) into the palm of each mitten to match the number on the mat. 

Other Resources:

The Mitten - The Mailbox  K-1  Dec/Jan 2006

Literature Notes for The Mitten  FS-2778

Teacher's Helper - Kindergarten Nov/Dec/Jan 1995-96

The Best of The Mailbox - Preschool/Kindergarten  TEC1461

Math & Literature - Creative Teaching Press

Literature Based Math IF8524

Teacher's Helper - Kindergarten Nov/Dec/Jan 1999 - 2000

Teacher's Helper - Kindergarten Dec/Jan 2001 - 2002

The Best of Teacher's Helper Literature - Kindergarten TEC1471

Penguins and Mittens - Lasting Lessons



Make Room For Me! emergent reader


Our Mitten Tree: Animal Riddles


The Mitten


The Mitten


Animal Masks for The Mitten


Jan Brett's Matching Animal Game


Put the Animals in the Mitten


Mitten Crafts


Match the Mittens


Mittens coloring page


My Mittens Project


Center Ideas for The Mitten by Jan Brett


The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale


Mitten Lesson Plans


SCORE: The Mitten - Teacher Guide


Author/Illustrator Study - Grade 2/3


Activity Page 21 (the story of The Mitten along with printables for retelling)


Activity Page 22 - Hands in the Mitten


#456 The Mitten by Jan Brett (preschool)


The Mitten Curriculum Web


The Mitten Lesson: Where Do Bears Live?


The Mitten: Level 2


Mitten Math Game


The Mitten (this is a "foreign" site, but if you scroll down you'll see poems/songs, etc. in English)


The Mitten 1st Grade Unit Plan


Books to Grow On


Let It Snow!




The Mitten


Piggybacks for Teachers


Mrs. Jones - The Mitten


Mitten Theme


The Mitten,1871,2123-126557-2-44161,00.html


The Mitten


2nd Grade Treasure Trove/Winter Wonders


Literacy Lesson: The Mitten - Kindergarten


The Mitten - Classroom Ideas and More


Can Teach: Songs & Poems - Mittens


One Mitten


The Mitten story prop printables


The Mitten


Mrs. Jones - The Mitten


The Mitten Internet Links K-3




last updated 12.27.08


Hit Counter