January 28, 2014

Right to Left, Left to Right? Mitten Story Revision



Some very savvy readers left some great feedback on my previous post stating that my Mitten story pages needed to be reversed so it could be read from left to right.  I took their comments to heart and reversed the order.  The finished product now looks like this:



You can find the revised version at my TpT store here.  See my previous post for instructions for assembly.  Thanks for understanding!

January 27, 2014

More Fun with The Mitten


Here's another great activity I've been using with my preschoolers this week.  It's a simplified version of The Mitten by Jan Brett made into a printable book that the kids can take home.  It has repetitive text, so little ones can quickly join in with retelling the story, and it's folded accordion-style so the mitten gets bigger and bigger and BIGGER as the story progresses.   It's so fun!   I made two versions.  One with the animals printed on each page, and one with animals to cut and paste on each page.  Here's what the pages of the printable look like:




I'm going to show you how to put it all together to make a book.  Cut out each of the story strips and one mitten.  Cut the mitten in half, following the dotted line.  To assemble the book, I always start from the left side and work my way to the right.  Glue along the left edge of the strip that has the mole on it. Place the left mitten piece on top of the strip, matching up the edge of the mitten with the dotted line of the tab that has the glue.  Be sure to glue the story strip in the center of the mitten.  It should look like this:





Next, fold the rabbit page to the left, like this:


and fold the hedgehog page behind the animal page to the right, accordion-style.  Be sure to fold directly on the dotted lines between the pages.  It should look like this when you're finished with the first strip:




Next, glue the right edge of the hedgehog page, and glue the story strip that has the owl on it on top of the glue tab, matching up the dotted lines.

 Continue to fold these pages like an accordion, folding the owl to the left, the badger to the right, etc.  It should look like this:



Repeat for the remaining two strips, gluing on the tabs and folding in alternating directions.   At this point, if you collapse your accordion strips into a stack,"The End"  should be facedown on top of the animals in the snow.  Open the page and fold back the glue tab to the right of "The End" along the dotted line like this:



Glue along the edge that is folded back. Place the right side of the mitten piece on top of the glue tab, making sure that it's centered, like this:



When it's all folded together, it looks like this:



It looks harder to put together than it actually is.  It's just a little folding and a little gluing.  You'll get the hang of it pretty quickly!

My little ones and their mommies have LOVED this one.  If you love it, too, you can find it at my TpT store here.

Stay warm and cozy!



January 21, 2014

Mitten Craftivity for Preschoolers




This week at Small Talk, we're all about one of my favorite winter stories, The Mitten by Jan Brett.  It's a great story about forest animals who all push their way into a cozy mitten that was dropped in the snow.  I thought I'd share one of the activities we'll be doing with you.  It is this easy mitten "craftivity" that your little ones are sure to love and you can use to cover a variety of goals.



Start by tracing a large mitten shape onto white card stock and cut it out.  Next, cut a smaller mitten shape out from the inside of the mitten, leaving a 1/2"- 1" frame.  Trace the outline of the mitten onto the grid side of a sheet of clear Con-Tact paper and cut it out.  Peel off the grid paper, exposing the sticky side of the Con-Tact paper.  Place your mitten frame on top of the Con-Tact paper mitten, matching the edges.  Place the grid paper back onto the mitten, protecting the sticky surface until you are ready to use it.



Gather up some pieces to stick on your mitten.  I used some snowflakes I made with a paper punch, some squares of white tissue paper, and some pictures of the animals featured in The Mitten.  The animals I used are from a darling graphics collection by KPM Doodles.


Stick the snowflakes and mittens onto the sticky side of the mitten.  Be sure to place the animals face down.


Then, put squares of white tissue paper over the animals and the snowflakes, making sure to cover all of the sticky spots.  Turn it over to see all the animals inside the mitten!  I love this!  It's so easy and so CUTE!

I plan to use this for a variety of goals, including following directions, articulation, vocabulary, basic concepts, and a simple story retell.

What do you think?  Check back later in the week to see what other activities I have planned for my Mitten theme.  Until then, stay warm!


January 10, 2014

Don't Break the Ice Game Companion for Winter Clothing Vocabulary



We've been having so much fun using the Winter Clothing Vocabulary Cards from my Indoor Snowball Fight that I decided to make a companion activity that can target a bunch of goals based on the same theme.  My kids go BONKERS for Hasbro's classic Don't Break the Ice Game, so I made some materials to use while playing it.  And I was right...it is a HIT (no pun intended)!

Here's what you do:



Then, decide if you want to use these game cards...


...or these!


The players take turns turning over a card and tapping a matching ice block until it falls.  Play continues until all the ice breaks and everyone laughs!  And then play it again.  And again.  And AGAIN, if the kids get their way!!!

I've used this game this week with kids ages 2-12.  Did you catch that?  Two-year-olds were able to play this without smashing all the ice blocks in at once.  I think having the pictures on them really helped to slow it down.  Here are some of the goals I was able to target:

*  articulation:  CVC, CVCV words for my younger kids; /th/ for "this" and "the"  as in "This is the match; final /s/ in "ice", and the list goes on.

*  receptive vocabulary:  finding items based on attributes comes to mind immediately, but also matching pictures and identifying items by their names.

*  expressive vocabulary:  winter clothing words, adjectives such as warm, cozy, stretchy, itchy

*  third person singular verbs:  when using the attribute cards, I had my students respond using complete sentences that included third person singular verb.  For example, "A hat COVERS my ears."  "A snowman MELTS".

*  use of have/has:  "Boots have laces."  "Hot cocoa has steam."

*  following game rules and turn taking.

That's just a start.  Be creative and I'm sure you'll find many ways to use this with almost all of your kids.

Do you love it?  You can find it at my TpT store here.

Have a great weekend everyone!