Articles > In A Story > The Mitten by Jan Brett
Header Image for The Mitten by Jan Brett

Story Activities for The Mitten

Retold and illustrated by Jan Brett

This beloved story delights young readers with its tale of a lost mitten, animals seeking warmth, and a giant bear sneeze! Jan Brett's stunning illustrations of adorable animals and amusing expressions expand this folktale to present a wealth of literacy concepts for emerging readers.


Read and Reread

Children commonly request this book to be read again and again. Check out this YouTube Video where Jan Brett reads the story herself!



From simple animals to higher level phonesthemes, the abundance of rich vocabulary will challenge most early readers. Just look at this list: 

wool, grandmother, mole, burrowed, cozy, kickers, jostled, hedgehog, prickles, commotion, grumbled, glinty, talons, badger, diggers, waft, steam, investigate, drowsy, lumbered, plumped, argue, swelled, stretched, bulged, acorn, wriggled, tickled, force, scattered, silouetted.... and much more!

Here are some simple vocabulary words from the story for younger readers. Discuss some or all of these, match the vocabulary to pages in the story, or play bingo with these fun words. 


The characters include common animals such as bear, rabbit, and owl, as well as other woodland animals that may be new to young children.

Discussions about these animals may lead to further exploration! 

Moles: Star-nosed Mole: World's fastest eater, and How fast can they dig? 

Badgers: Peek into the secret lives of badgers


Listening and Taking Turns

Play I Have Who Has? Cut the strips and pass out to students. Pick as student to start. Students listen for a reader to call their animal. When they hear their animal, that person then reads their strip aloud. Each child has a turn to read until it goes back to the beginning.  



Here are some quetion cards from the story. 


Retelling and Sequencing

Act out the story as you read. Do you recall which animal comes next? 

Retell with this picture cards

Create puppets by cutting out and attaching to popsicle sticks. 


Turn the dial as you reread or retell the story. 

Cut out the animals and retell as you glue each animal on the mitten. 


Cut out, punch holes, and lace the mittens together with string. Decorate mitten. Retell by placing picture cards inside mitten. 



Inferencing and Context Clues

Jan Brett's illustrations not only show an incredible about of detail, but also gives glues about other parts of the story. On the left, we see what Nicki is doing as the animals seek shelter in his mitten. On the right, look for clues about which animal is coming next. 

Why did each animal let the new animal in? Talk about each animal's body part that causes the other animals to not want to argue (kickers, diggers, talons, etc.)

Work on descriptions and questions as you play Headbandz with story vocabulary. 


Class Book 

Decorate these coloring pages to make a class book of the vocabulary. 



Sequencing Vocabulary: Ordinal Numbers, order, and placement

Talk about ordinal numbers as you sequence the animals: 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Practice vocabulary such as  beginning, middle, next, after, then, behind, and last. Emphasize these words as you reread.

Glue the animals in sequence as you read. 


Alphabet Knowdge

M is for Mitten. How many words can you think of that start with M? 

Trace and/or decorate your letter M. Use markers, playdough, wikisticks, marshmallows, magnets, etc. 




Make a fringe board to use with your core vocabulary board. 


Here is a "Topic Board" or fringe vocabulary to use as you talk about the story. 


Extension Activities

Here are more Games to play with vocabulary and concepts from the story

Memory Matching Game

Board Game With Dice