Retelling our own version of the mitten book in preschool

I have three different versions of “The Mitten” book. Each book presents the same story from three slightly different perspectives.  I brought all three of my mitten books to share with the kids…

You can purchase each of these books here…


Out of the three versions of “The Mitten,”  I chose to read, “The Mitten” by Jim Aylesworthto my class. The Aylesworth version of the book may not be as well known as the very popular Jan Brett version but I find the Jim Aylesworth’s version wonderfully simple to read to my three year olds.  I love the illustrations and the simple way the story is told…

After reading the Aylesworth version of “The Mitten,” I brought out the other two copies of “The Mitten” and we compared the differences between the three different mitten books.  We looked through the pictures of all three books and noticed how the animals were different, how the mittens looked different, in what way each mitten was lost in the story, in what way the animals got out of the mittens, and how the mittens looked at the end of the story…

This led to a simple but thoughtful discussion on how each author used their own imaginations and ideas to tell the same story – just like we can do.  Then we did our own retelling of the Mitten Book…

I had a large mitten shape made out of tape on the floor to use as our mitten prop.  Instead of animals, we had children climbing in our mitten to keep warm…

As the story went along, each child was invited to climb into the mitten and since our mitten was getting full, the children had to adjust how they sat in the mitten so they would all fit inside…


And at the end of our story, all the children were thrown out of the mitten because someone gave a big sneeze! Only our mitten didn’t fall apart…

I just happened to have met Jim Aylesworth last year at a conference. While there, I purchased his version of the mitten book.  I like having different versions of some of my favorite books to share with the children and was pleased to discover Jim’s version…




By |2012-01-25T06:00:24+00:00January 25th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. K January 25, 2012 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Very creative way to extend the learning after sharing the book. I love the idea of getting the children to act it out together. Makes me miss teaching the little ones in my own classroom!

    I am a children’s librarian now and I always enjoy reading different versions of a story. I have to say that Jim Aylesworth’s version of The Mitten has always been my favorite and is my go-to book for this story. He did an AWESOME job of retelling it simply and eloquently!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 25, 2012 at 7:20 am - Reply

      I agree!

  2. Brenna January 25, 2012 at 7:18 am - Reply

    I like the mitten outline taped on the floor and the students crowd in. I did The Mitten week earlier in January. Students loved that week. Here is one post and there are other posts with mitten activities on my blog.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 25, 2012 at 7:21 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing Brenna!

  3. Vanessa @Pre-K Pages January 25, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Oh that is simply genius! I have used a sheet as the mitten to cover the children but using tape is just brilliant. Besides, then I have to either take the sheet home and remember to bring it back next year (ha!) or find a place to store it (big ha!) so tape is a great solution! Also, you can leave the tape outline on the floor and the kids can retell the story during centers on their own. LOVE!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Why thank you Vanessa:)

  4. Amelia January 25, 2012 at 10:12 am - Reply

    What a wonderful and simple idea to make the mitten shape with tape. I also love The Mitten story and can’t wait to teach in a place with winter so snowmen, mittens and fall leaves will make sense to the kids.
    I am teaching in Africa. Mittens are like “what is wrong with this glove, it does not have a place for all my fingers?”. Yes, I heard that from one of my students. Anyway, thanks for sharing and congratulations for your blog. It is wonderful and inspiring!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Haha – yes, this does present a special challenge when you live where there is no snow!

  5. Having fun with our kids January 25, 2012 at 10:51 am - Reply

    What fun ways to make a book come to life.

  6. Paula M Jones January 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I LOVE mitten week! We also act out the mitten story and I use the class parachute as a SUPER BIG mitten. Of course when the bear sneezes, it’s lots of fun when the parachute flies up. We also do 3 kittens who lost their mittens and hide mittens around the room for students to find….they are such good little kittens! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas Deborah.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      I never thought of using the parachute for a mitten! Too fun!

  7. Cherry January 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    This is great! I didn’t know there so many versions. I enjoy this story with my students and they love to retell it with a sheet. This year, we created a bubble map with the characters. We count and compare the characters, make a flow chart to sequence the characters and use Jann Brett’s character color page to color and cut out. The pieces are held in a white constuction paper mitten for the children to take home and retell. This year, each child was given a mitten-shaped page and they drew thier own character with the sentence, ” The ___ is in the mitten,” to make a predictable class book. I typed their sentence and used clipart to make a rebus sentence. It is a class favorite. It spurred a whole investigation about what animals do in the winter to stay warm. There are so manythings to do with this story. Thank you for sharing and all you do for children, parents & teachers.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Wow – so many ideas! I love the Predictable class book!

  8. Sharon Donnella November 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    What a magnificient story “The Mitten” around 95 percent of my students are from Central and South America. They have only seen snow when they came to the east coast! I ordered artificial snow from the internet to allow the students to feel and look at it. They were thrilled when they picked up the snow and felt the smoothness in their hands. I also used a large cast-iron snow scene with animals in the background for realia. It was a big hit at our Family Night, Books, Blankets and Bears!

  9. […] some masking tape and your classroom floor for this gross motor retelling of The Mitten. I can just imagine the giggles and conversation that will take place as a result of this […]

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