Sunday, May 12, 2013

Literature Fun with Author Jan Brett

With our umbrella school, we did a literature unit on The Mitten by Jan Brett. For several weeks we read books by Jan Brett along with doing some fun activities. Jan Brett has a really neat website with a ton of activities that go with her books. Check it out!!

I also found a wonderful literacy packet for several of Jan Brett's books at Most worksheets were purchased from Sarah Paul's store at TeachersNotebook.

The Mitten

Lapbooks are very popular with some people. I have thought about making one with Miss E on several occasions and have never really followed through. Here is our first lapbook. We did a sequencing activity involving the different animals found in the story. I found a great printable here. I had Miss E color the animals. She chose to go with more of their 'natural colors' instead of making everything rainbow. Then every time we read the story, which was several, she would put the animals in the mitten in the order of the story. The mitten on the front of our lapbook was decorated as she wanted it to be.

One of my favorite websites for finding project ideas is homeschoolshare.
I did not use their entire lapbook, but they have great resource for putting together a lapbook for The Mitten. You can find it here. We only used the animal description matchbook activity. Miss E had fun matching up the different animals with the different descriptions.

We did two 'literature' activities with The Mitten involving worksheets, Read & Sequence and Cause & Effect.

For the read and sequence worksheet we just cut out the prompts and pasted them in the correct order of the story. I made two copies of the worksheet. One we cut up and the other we pasted on. If I was to use this as a sample for my umbrella school, I have a full sheet of paper and not a half sheet. Not that it really matters.

We talked about about the 'cause' and then I had her tell me what the effect was; what happened next. After she gave me her answer I had Miss E fill in the answer. I helped her with spelling, but she did all the writing. I get really excited watching how much she has grown. She does not like to write and our core curriculum has very little writing. She however did enjoy this activity.

Berlioz the Bear
I found the following worksheet on Jan Brett's website here that I had the kids color before we read the story. After reading the story I found this video.

The Hat
All activities for The Hat came from here.

We did a similar activity involving Cause & Effect like we did with The Mitten. We talked about about the 'cause' and then I had her tell me what the effect was; what happened next. After she gave me her answer I had Miss E fill in the answer. I helped her with spelling, but she did all the writing.

I had Miss E decorate a hat, you almost have to with a book like this one. After she decorated her hat, we talked about the word 'ridiculous', what it meant and other words we could use that mean about the same thing. We also looked at the picture at the end of the book and talked about what the different animals were wearing. She filled in the blanks to the following sentence: The ________ looked ________ in the ____________. She then drew a picture to go with her sentence.

The pony looked silly in the pants.

Annie and the Wild Animals
I found a recipe for Annie's Corn Cakes, here. So, we made some...
When I usually cook with my kids I usually have them in the kitchen with all sorts of ingredients scattered everywhere. It usually means that we make a huge mess, someone ends up in tears because they didn't get to add the ingredient they wanted to, and it is just plain crazy. I decided that this time I would get all the ingredients measured out for them in these little bowls, they would see exactly how many ingredients we needed and they could take turns. It turned out to be a great experience for everyone. However, when my husband got home and saw all the dishes in the kitchen he asked what we did. He was not overly excited about washing all the little cups. Oh well, I won one battle and just laughed at the second one.

We started by adding all the dry ingredients in no particular order to the large bowl. The kids took turns in both adding and stirring.

 They then added the wet ingredients. Stirring became a little bit harder. Team work was awesome!

I decided that little muffin cakes would be better than a huge cake of corn bread.

 Done!! They were good. Not as sweet as I prefer but good none the less. I made my grandpoppies sweet butter to go with them. Little Man loved them. Miss E ate about half of hers and left the rest.

After reading several of Jan Brett's books. I asked Miss E which one was her favorite, she really liked Hedgie's Surprise.

Thanks for reading about the fun we had with author Jan Brett.

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