Friday, January 8, 2016

The Mitten - A Ukrainian Folktale Interactives and FREEBIES! Part 1

Welcome to AKGVH The Mitten - A Ukrainian Folktale post part 1! 

In the days of yesteryear regardless of culture, children learned history and behaviors through metaphoric tales at mother's knee. 

All cultures (excluding Israel) were originally steeped in paganism and superstition, the Ukraine was no exception. In days past Ukraine was a country hammered with persecution by those who sought to conquer. 

Overcoming adversity via cleverness and ingenuity gave strength to those who were weaker.  The folktale was born of a desire for revenge and redemption, a way to soften the hard life of the peasant. 

Ukrainian folktales were permeated with lyricism and poetry deeply rooted in the landscapes of Ukrainian history associated with the seasons and the course of their lives.  Nature and animals played a pivotal role in early Ukraine folktales and The Mitten, a most beloved Ukrainian Folktale for wee ones from pre-k to grade 1 has stood the test of time. The following is our FAV video version:   

Currently there are three popular The Mitten authors.

Jan Brett is the most famous of authors who adapted and illustrated the Ukrainian folktale The Mitten in 1989. I have NO doubt her books are probably used in every lower elementary classroom and pre-k across the nation. What I can gather from AKGVH Facebook friends, indeed possibly the world! So if you just happened to trip on by this here blog and are not hep to the work of Jan Brett, you will find her site a bounty of her authored book FREE printables. So check her out, you WILL be STOKED you did!! 

Alvin Tresselt published his adaptation in 1964. His books are very popular in the classroom as well. It was most difficult to find any info on Alvin. Exodus books wrote a short bio but it is a bit of a dry read:

Through the Magic Door blogs a more thorough bio inserting a most whimsical fashion here and there, sure to bring a smile: 

Jim Aylesworth published the newest adaptation in 2009.  His version while not so popular received rave reviews: 

His site has some recommended downloadable lesson plans to go with his book: 

And the latest version of The Mitten, adapted in a pop-up by Jessica Southwick. Her version made Parent's Magazine's 10 Best Books of 2014. You can read more about this author on Linked In: 

Interested in purchasing any or all versions of The Mitten? DIG this quick shopping eBay link: 

The Mitten A Ukrainian Folktale
 (AKGVH  (A Kinders Garten Vintage Homeschool) is a participant in the eBay Partner Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to eBay.)

Maybe you are interested in more books from these particular authors, eBay has nice selections:

Jan Brett

Jim Aylesworth

Alvin Tresselt 

Like most pre-k's my wee babes jumped inside The Mitten folktale with glee! I had in mind to give my babes the op to perform hands on interactives while I read the story, and since they were just wee ones, the first year I  introduced The Mitten folktale, we made mittens out of paper bags. Placing the bags over a one gallon plastic bottle, I had my babes paint their bags white. We let them dry, then I drew on the details along with their initials with glue and we sprinkled shimmer glitter on top. They came out real swell!

The mitten on the right was made by Julian when he was 5. I used Jan Brett's mitten pattern and duplicated it to make a left and right side. Julian colored his mitten, then cut it out and glued each piece on a construction paper mitten cut out. After it dried, I stapled the two mitten sides together, then we glued over the staples and added glitter.

Then I handed my babes Jan Brett's animal sheet and they colored them and glued them onto the matching pre-cut animal shapes and let them dry.

You can get the same printables from Jan that we did here: 

And since I dig my older homeschoolers interacting with my wee ones, I recruited Sierra:

Devlin (Sierra's little brother) comes to visit our classroom from time to time and MEGA thanks to Julian for allowing him to use his Mitten Interactive Puppet! As you will see in the following flick, Devlin roars right into The Mitten:

Sierra took my seat and placed the animals in the pocket chart as she read the story. 

When Sierra read the animals name, she held up the animal's picture. The wee ones would hunt for their own animal that matched the animal Sierra was going to put in the pocket chart, then hold it up so she could see if they chose the correct one:

As Sierra continued to weave her story of The Mitten my babes interactively flowed with the narrative:

Altho' Devlin loses interest in his Mitten Interactive Puppet, he hangs with the story in a somewhat mellow way:

Needless to say, STOKED Devlin's lack of interaction did not hamper my babes interest in interacting with Sierra's story. They hung with Devlin real cool:  

This type of book activity is an excellent resource which enables visiting children to jump right into the homeschool action like a pro!

After that, Sierra sang The Mitten song. She had each child empty their mittens once again, then as she sang the verse, she had my babes put the correct critter in the bag. You can sing The Mitten Song with your babes as well: 

The Mitten Song
Sing to: The Farmer in the Dell
The mitten's on the ground,
The mitten's on the ground.
Heigh-ho, it's cold outside,
The mitten's on the ground.

The (mole) snuggles in,
The (mole) snuggles in.
Heigh-ho, it's cold outside,
So the (mole) snuggled in.

Continue singing until all the critters are in the bags. After the last animal, tell your babes to pretend to sneeze and make the critters fall out of their mittens. Indeed, ALL had out-a-sight mitten interactive fun that wintery day! 

And now for your first AKGVH The Mitten FREEBIE! Our vintage Mitten Dot to Dot: 

AKGVH Vintage Mitten Dot to Dot

Don't split yet as you will want to catch part 2 of our AKGVH The Mitten - A Ukrainian Folktale Interactives and another FREEBIE in Part 2:

AKGVH The Mitten - A Ukrainian Folktale Part 2

See you there!

C.S. Calkins

© 2016 C.S. Calkins All rights reserved.

© 2019 C.S. Calkins All rights reserved.
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