Jan Brett’s website is one of my all time favorite sites (www.Janbrett.com). Jan’s website is so much fun because of all the fun activity sheets that accompany her books. Activity sheets help kids firm up vocabulary, letter knowledge, rhyming skills, and other phonics skills.
Here are a couple of my favorite winter theme books and some suggestions for using the activity sheets that accompany these books
The Hat by Jan Brett. In The Hat, a girl named Lisa is washing her winter woolens and hanging them out to dry. Along comes a hedgehog and gets his prickles stuck in one of Lisa’s stockings. The other farmyard animals laugh at Hedgie’s hat, but finally decide they like his idea for a hat.
The Mitten by Jan Brett is a classic winter story. In this story, a young boy’s lost mitten becomes a home for forest animals.
Many of the activity sheets help children identify words. One fun way to do this is to have children sort words or picture cards. These vocabulary concepts can be drawn from the books you are reading. You can use the books, The Hat and The Mitten. The Hat is set in a farmyard and focuses on farm animals like hen, goose, cat, dog, pig, and horse. The Mitten is set in the forest and includes animals such as rabbit, mole, fox, badger, hedgehog, bear, owl, and mouse. Have your child sort forest animals from non forest animals or categorize forest animals versus farm animals.
One free PDF is a mitten and animals to cut and paste. Print the animals and two mittens. Encourage your child to cut and paste forest animals into one mitten and non forest animals into the other mitten.
Give your child the picture cards one at a time, encourage her to say the name of the picture and place the picture with the correct letter.
Children can also, cut and paste the M and H sounds onto the Mitten and Hat.
Children who already know most letter sounds might enjoy playing “Mitten Match Up” after reading the book, The Mitten. To prepare this game, label clothespins with each letter of the alphabet. Cut apart mitten cards that include pictures for each beginning letter sound. Children will hang the picture with the clothes pin that matches the beginning letter sound.
The activity sheets are also great for practicing rhyming words and word sorts.
For young readers who know few sight words, this is best accomplished with picture cards. Children can sort picture cards into the correct word family. Hold up each picture card and have the child determine if the word rhymes with mitten or hat.
This skill can be practiced by older learners who are just beginning to decode. The picture cards can be replaced with word cards for the sorts. Then children can write a list of rhyming words for each word family.