31 January, 2013

"The Mitten" Story Props

Giving children props and ways to retell and re-imagine a story can enhance their literacy skills and learning.  I spent some time last week creating the characters from Jan Brett's The Mitten.  My hope was that they would give the children in my class ways to retell and re-imagine.

I used the character line drawings on her web page, here.  I printed them out and then traced them onto 1 inch thick poplar.  I cut them out with a scroll saw, sanded them, and used my inexpensive (and very old!) wood burner to burn in the designs.  I used non-toxic watercolors, and sealed them with homemade wood polish.  Once I gave them a final brush with a little steel wool, I packed them up and brought them to school.  

They work perfectly with this lovely tree I purchased from mamakopp.  Just look at the owl balanced in the branches!  

And . . . look what happened!  Be still my heart.  One of my sweet boys . . .

retelling and re-imagining.

What story props do you use in your classroom?