The Mitten
Level D

About the Book

Text Type: Fiction/Humorous
Page Count: 12
Word Count: 74

Book Summary
This humorous story retells the traditional Ukrainian wintertime tale of several animals squeezing into a mitten to stay warm. Young children will enjoy the humorous language and predictable ending.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Make, revise, and confirm predictions


  • Use the reading strategy of making, revising, and confirming predictions to understand text
  • Draw conclusions
  • Clap syllables
  • Identify final consonant t
  • Recognize and understand that nouns are naming words
  • Read, write, and understand the use of high-frequency words he and she


  • Book --The Mitten (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Concept web, make predictions, nouns, high-frequency words worksheets

    Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)


  • High-frequency words: after, got, he, into, she, the, too, was, with
  • Content words: ant, bear, blue jay, cold, fox, mitten, rabbit, squash, squeeze, squish, warm

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Write the word winter on the board. Ask students to think of things associated with winter. Facilitate the discussion with the following questions: What clothing do people wear in winter? What kind of weather occurs during winter?
  • Introduce, explain, and have students complete the concept web worksheet. Invite students to share their drawings on the worksheet.

Book Walk

Introduce the Book

  • Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title. Ask what they think they might read about in a book called The Mitten. (Accept any answer students can justify.)
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name, illustrator's name).
  • Turn to page 3. Point out the repetitive phrase: _______ was cold. Point to each word as students repeat the phrase aloud. Repeat the process for the repetitive phrases on page 5. (Squish, squash, squeeze. Ah.)

Introduce the Reading Strategy: Make, revise, and confirm predictions

  • Explain that good readers often make predictions, or guesses, about what will happen in a story. Explain that making predictions can help people to make decisions, solve problems, and learn new information. Emphasize that knowing how to make predictions is more important than whether the prediction is right. Readers continue to make new predictions based on clues they read in a story.
  • Model using the title and cover illustrations to make a prediction.
    Think-aloud: When I look at the front and back covers, I wonder how a mitten got left on the ground. Maybe it fell out of a pocket when children were playing. How do you think it got there? As I look at the title page, I see a fox sniffing the mitten. I wonder if there is something inside the mitten that the fox wants. Why do you think the fox is near the mitten?
  • Introduce and explain the make predictions worksheet. Model drawing a prediction in the box, such as a fox near a mitten full of food. Invite students to make a prediction based on the cover illustrations and title, and draw it on their worksheet. Share and discuss the predictions as a group.
  • As students read, encourage them to use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.

Introduce the Comprehension Skill: Draw conclusions

  • Ask students to identify the four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter). Write these words on the board.
  • Draw a picture on the board of things you associate with spring (flowers, trees, grass, birds, butterflies). Write under the picture: The grass is green, and flowers are blooming. Read the sentence aloud to students.
  • Model how to draw conclusions.
    Think-aloud: As I looked at the picture and read the sentence, I thought about what I already know about seasons. From these clues, I think that the drawing represents spring.
  • Ask students to explain the clues that led to the conclusion that the drawing represents spring (green trees with leaves, flowers blooming).
  • Draw a simple picture of another season and invite students to draw a conclusion about the season. Ask them to share the clues they used to draw their conclusion.

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • While previewing the book, reinforce the vocabulary words students will encounter in the text. For example, while looking at the picture on page 3, you might say: The _____ was cold. The ______ got into the warm mitten.
  • Remind students that they can help themselves when they come to a tricky word by looking at the first letter of the word and checking the picture on the page to see what word might start with the same sound and make sense. For example, on page 3, model pointing under the b in bear. Say: I am going to help myself by looking at the picture and thinking about the animal in the picture that starts like the /b/ sound. Does bear make sense? Yes. The word is bear.
  • Point to the word mitten on page 3. Have a volunteer identify the word. Ask him/her to explain the clues used to identify the word (the first letter in the word, the picture, and so on). Have students use the word in the sentence to check whether or not it makes sense.
  • For additional tips on teaching word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read to find out what happens to the animals and the mitten. Remind them to stop to make, revise, and confirm predictions as they read.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their book. Point out the words on the pages in the book. Explain that the words on the pages are read from left to right. Ask a student to come up and point to where students should start reading and in which direction they go as they read.
  • Point to the numbers at the bottom of the pages. Have them read to the end of page 5, using their finger to point to each word as they read. Encourage students who finish early to go back and reread.
  • Model making, revising, and confirming a prediction.
    Think-aloud: I predicted that the fox was sniffing the mitten because food was inside it. I was right that something was inside the mitten. But it wasn't food. What was it? (a bear) I will draw that in the box next to my prediction on the worksheet. I also found out that the fox got in the mitten. I wonder if any more animals will try to get in the mitten.
  • Have students review the prediction they made before reading. Have them draw a picture next to their first prediction on their worksheet that illustrates what actually happened in the story.
  • Check for understanding: Invite students to predict what will happen next in the story. Have them draw their prediction on their worksheet. Then have students read to page 7. Remind them to use the pictures, sentences, and what they already know to make predictions as they read. When they have finished reading, have them draw what actually happened in the story next to their prediction on their worksheet. Invite students to share their drawings.
  • Have students read to the end of page 9. Have them complete and revise or confirm predictions as they read. When students have finished, discuss whether their predictions turned out to be true or whether they needed to be revised.

    Have students make a small question mark in their book beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.

After Reading 

Reflect on the Reading Strategy

  • Ask students what words they marked in their book. Model how they can read these words.
  • Ask students to explain other predictions they made while reading. Invite them to share the drawings on their worksheet.
  • Review the animals that got in the mitten and discuss the size of each animal. Then read the last page of the story.
  • Think-aloud: I wonder what would happen if only larger animals got in the mitten. I wonder if the mitten would have open sooner.
  • Ask students to explain what they think might happen and why.

Reflect on the Comprehension Skill

  • Discussion: Review page 11 with students. Ask a volunteer to identify the number of animals in the mitten (5). Have them explain why the number of animals may have led to the mitten bursting. (For example: Mittens are small, and there were many animals in the mitten.)
  • Independent practice: Have students identify other clues that would lead a reader to think the mitten might eventually burst open. (For example: The text does not say Ah after the ant gets in the mitten. The picture shows rips in the mitten.)
  • Extend the discussion: Have students explain whether this story is real or fantasy and why (fantasy, because animals as large as those in the story could not climb into such a small mitten). Invite students to explain how the element of fantasy added to the humor of the story.

Build Skills 

Phonemic Awareness: Clap syllables

  • Explain to students that they are going to say a word from the book. Say mitten, emphasizing the two parts of the word, and clap for each part. Have students say the word and clap with you. Explain that the word mitten has two parts, or syllables. Model clapping the syllables a second time with students.
  • Say the following words from the book: rabbit, cold, warm, and KABOOM, one at a time. Say and clap the syllables in each word with students. Have students identify the number of syllables in each word by asking them to hold up one finger for one syllable and two fingers for two syllables. Then clap the syllables in each word with students, voicing the sounds in each syllable aloud.
  • Check for understanding: Choose some classroom objects, such as tape, a ruler, a pencil, a clock, a desk, and some scissors. Point to each object and name it. Have students clap the syllables for each word. Then have them show one finger for one syllable and two fingers for two syllables.

Phonics: Identify final consonant t

  • Write the word got on the board. Underline the final consonant t. Explain that the letter t stands for the /t/ sound at the end of the word got.
  • Write the word not on the board. Have students say the word aloud with you. Ask a volunteer to come to the board to circle the letter that stands for the /t/ sound in not.
  • Check for understanding: Write the following words on the board, leaving a blank line where the final consonant t belongs: sat, ant, rabbit, cat, hut, hot, and sit. Have volunteers come to the board and write the letter t in each blank.

Grammar and Mechanics: Identify naming words (nouns)

  • Explain that some words name things and that these words are called nouns. Ask volunteers to brainstorm some nouns that name things.
  • Have students turn to page 3 and read the first sentence together, pointing to the words. Ask them to point to the naming word in the sentence (bear). Read the second sentence on page 3 together and have students locate a different naming word (mitten).

    Check for understanding: Reread the story to students, pointing to each word as you read it aloud. Have students underline the other naming words in the story with a red crayon as you read the story aloud.

  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the nouns worksheet.

Vocabulary: High-frequency words

  • Explain that some words are used more than other words in books. Write the words he and she on the board. Read the words together.
  • Model fluent writing on the board or chart paper. Have students practice tracing the spelling of the words with their pointer finger on their desk.
  • Stand by a girl in the classroom. Say two sentences aloud about the girl, the first which identifies the girl by name and the second which describes the girl using the word she. (For example: This is Mary. She plays the piano.) Repeat the process for the word he.
  • Have students explain when to use the word he and when to use the word she (to describe a boy, to describe a girl).
  • Check for understanding: Ask volunteers identify classmates by name and then use the word he or she to refer to the classmate. Have students use individual dry-erase boards or paper to write the high-frequency word used in each example (he or she).
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the high-frequency words worksheet.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their book independently or with a partner. Encourage repeated timed readings of a specific section in the book. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book to each other.

Home Connection

  • Give students their book to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends. Have students read the book to someone at home and have them make predictions about what will happen in the story.

Extend the Reading 

Writing and Art Connection
Have students choose another animal and draw it getting into the mitten. Have them write: The ___________ got into the mitten. (He/She) was cold. Write an ending page as a group. Compile the drawings to make a class book.

Math Connection
Review the names of the four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter). Have students share their favorite season and why that season is the favorite. Graph students' responses. Discuss which season had the most and least responses.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • accurately and consistently make, revise, and confirm predictions in discussion and on a worksheet
  • accurately draw conclusions during discussion
  • accurately clap syllables in one- and two-syllable words during discussion
  • accurately identify words that do and do not end with the /t/ sound during discussion
  • recognize and understand that nouns are words that name things during discussion and on a worksheet
  • recognize, write, and understand the use of the high-frequency words he and she during discussion and on a worksheet

Comprehension Checks

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