More than Mittens

Fifth grade and Pre-K share a folktale to join together and learn about one another.

Pre-K students visit the Fifth grade to read the book, The Mitten, and spend time doing activities together.

Photo by Jordi Gile

Pre-K students visit the Fifth grade to read the book, The Mitten, and spend time doing activities together.

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Sticky fingers and huge smiles filled the classrooms as the students worked together decorating cookies with their cute new friends. Older students took the younger ones under their wing, as Pre-K visited the Fifth grade to read the book, The Mitten, and enjoy activities related to the tale.

The Mitten, a Ukrainian folktale, follows the story of a little boy named Nicki who receives a soft pair of white mittens from his grandmother. After begging for them, his grandmother finally gives in and carefully knits him a pair. But, she warns Nicki that because they are white, the mittens could easily be lost in the snow.

One day while playing in the snow, Nicki drops one of his brand new mittens and forgets all about it. While he scampers on, animals begin to live in the mitten, slowly stretching it out. The animals range from a mouse, to a fox and as Pre-K 4 student Netochi Udeozo said, “I liked when the bear squeezed into his mitten.”

Once the students finished reading the story together, they sewed a mitten with their partners using paper and yarn. However, most of the kids enjoyed the next activity the most: decorating mitten-shaped cookies. Icing and sprinkles flew everywhere as the kids giggled and chatted together.

Pre-K 4 student Kennedy McCauley liked this activity the most. She said, “My favorite part was eating the cookie. I put icing, M&M’s and sprinkles on it. I could only eat half.”

Fifth grade student Cade Eskew also liked the cookie decorating. He said, “I was matched with Caden. I liked helping him ice his cookie.”

Activities like reading The Mitten and the crafts that followed are designed to create a sense of community across grade levels in the Lower School and Middle School. Fifth grade student Jade Hernandez gained a new perspective while helping with Pre-K 4 teacher Angie King’s class. She said, “My partner was Olivia in Mrs. King’s class. I enjoyed caring for the younger kids and seeing what they are capable of. They got to learn what Fifth graders are like and that we are nice.” This activity allows new bonds to form and gives the younger children a friendly face in the Middle School as they move forward.

Pre-K 4 teacher Beth Guelker said, “It’s adorable. They all get to participate. It’s neat to watch the big kids take care of the younger ones. My kids love it.”