Frosty Readers is back for 2002!

About Our Project
Matching Mittens - Recreating Images Through Words Alone
A Challenging Collaborative Project

In our class we are exploring the genre of folktales with three of Jan Brett's books - Gingerbread Baby, The Mitten, and The Hat.

We did much work with Gingerbread Baby, and will continue our studies with The Hat. For our work for the Frosty Readers 2002, however, we focused on The Mitten in a most exciting and challenging collaborative project with Michele Nash's second graders in Wisconsin.

Our class first read The Mitten looking for some of the elements of a folktale - repetition of words or phrases and cumulative elements. The cumulative piece was easy for the children to recognize - all those animals being added to the mitten! The children have become such great "element detectives," however, that they noticed a repetition of an image/idea - words that described the animals moving into the mitten. Although these words were different for each animal, this concept was repeated throughout the story.

Next we thought about "THE" mitten itself. Nicki wanted a mitten white as snow, even though Baba warns him that it will be difficult to find against the snow. We decided to design a "safer" mitten - one that would be easy to find against a background of white. This was also the beginning of our collaborative work.

Using a template from Jan Brett's site, the children each designed their own mitten. They were asked to keep it simple, but Michele and I agree, simple is not really in a second grader's vocabulary! The next step was to write a description of what each mitten looked like. These alone would be used by the second graders in Wisconsin to recreate our mittens!

Writing descriptions, or in the case of Michele's students, directions, was no easy task. Once completed our descriptions were read and reread for clarity. Did we provide enough information for the mitten to be redrawn? These descriptions were then e-mailed to Wisconsin and we anxiously awaited our own directions. We all thought the next step would certainly be easier!

We received our directions and set to work to recreate the Wisconsin mittens! We soon learned that if writing directions was hard, following them was much, much more difficult! We had many questions and using drafts, drew, and redrew the mittens. Finally finished, we sent off our creations through snail mail. We were thrilled to receive those from Mrs. Nash's class, and we were also amazed!!! Many of them were a VERY CLOSE match!!!
  • Click here to view our mittens, our descriptions, and the redraws from Wisconsin. Mrs. Nash and I both agree - second graders are certainly amazing!!!
  • How did we follow directions?
    To see some of the mittens we redrew, click here.

  • More of our redrawn mittens
  • See our work on the Frosty Readers Showcase.
  • For lots of resources for The Mitten click here.
  • Try your hand at a matching game, concentration,
    or a wordsearch for The Mitten. Just click here.

Questions or comments? Please email me.

We'd LOVE for you to sign our guestbook!
Addressing the Standards
Arlington Curriculum Outcomes for English/Language Arts
  • Read and follow “how to” directions.
  • Continue to reread to improve understanding.
  • Use relevant text features to predict new information in an independent manner (e.g., illustrations and bold print).
  • Understand story elements.
  • Recognize genres (e.g., fables, fairy tales).
  • Make connections between literature and other experiences
  • Consider audience and purpose when writing.
  • Revise writing to improve level of detail and logical sequence.
  • Compare literature experienced through a variety of media.
  • Recognize initial elements of literature.

Massachusetts English Language Arts Frameworks
    Language Strand
  • Standard 4: Vocabulary and Concept Development
    Reading and Literature Strand
  • Standard 10: Genre
    Composition Strand
  • Standard 19: Writing
  • Standard 20: Consideration of Audience and Purpose
  • Standard 21: Revising
  • Standard 22: Organizing Ideas in Writing

National Educational Technology Standards for Students. (NETS)
  • Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.

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