Oh, that little mouse! “The Mitten,” by Jim Aylesworth, is a classic for kindergarten. (Any version of “The Mitten” is always a favourite, but I choose this version to use for my story play). I like to create my story plays with as many natural and handmade materials as possible, however, any materials that you have on hand will still memorize young audiences.
To be honest, I have taken up sewing a bit after I couldn’t find pieces/props for my stories – or at least not what I envisioned. I’m still working on it, but I like the handmade look to the characters. For some story plays, if I don’t have a specific character or prop that I need, I alter the story a bit when I read it aloud.
With all of my story plays I typically set up the story while students are watching. I find that it builds anticipation and gives students a chance to make predictions. In this case, I have to be well prepared and hide the large mitten beneath the ‘snow’ before I begin story. Inside the mitten are pieces of the matching mitten ripped up. When I get to the part that the squirrel first finds the mitten I open the blanket (snow) to reveal it. Once the mouse squeezes in and the mitten bursts, I turn the mitten inside out and the ripped pieces fly out with the animals and I quickly put the (mitten that is not ripped) to the side. Yes, young children will think you are magical.)
As a follow up activity, I give each student a small red mitten and a print out of each character that they can play with and retell the story with. (Link below for free character printable).
Download: The Mitten Characters