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Practice Left and Right with The Mitten by, Jan Brett

written by: Laurie Patsalides • edited by: Benjamin Sell • updated: 1/17/2012

In this lesson plan, the teacher will read the book, The Mitten, by Jan Brett and will discuss what happened to the boy. Next, the students will make a left and right mitten from construction paper to hang on a bulletin board.

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    In this lesson plan, students will learn about left and right hands. Show the students a pair of mittens (you may want to show them several styles). Notice that both are designed the same (they are a match). Demonstrate how they can be turned to fit on either the left or the right hand. Next show the students a pair of gloves, and demonstrate how they can only fit one hand or the other. Teach the students that this is one of the reasons that we need to learn left and right. Review the list of reasons we learn left from right from the last lesson in the series.

    Read the book, The Mitten, by Jan Brett. The little boy in the story loses one of the mittens that his grandmother made him in the forest. The animals are cold and decide to hide inside of it. A great book to teach about hibernation. I also did a musical with the story.


    Multicolored construction paper

    Beads, ribbon, sequins and buttons





    Black marker


    Trace the students hands and thumbs onto construction paper to create a mitten for each hand. Have the students cut the mittens out. Have students place the thumbs of both of the mittens together, flip them over and print their name on the back of each mitten. Next, have the students turn the mittens back over, have the thumbs touch and print the word left on the left mitten and right on the right mitten, with the black marker. Assist those that need it. Let the students create their mittens. You may want to go directly to Jan Brett's website to download a mitten for students to practice designing their mitten. Remind them to make the mittens match. Glue or staple a piece of yarn to each mitten to keep them together. Hang the mittens on a bulletin board for all to see.

    Have the students point to the word and repeat left and right. If you desire, sing a left and right hand song (sung to the tune of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear). This song was taught to me by another teacher, so it is not referenced here. As in the last lesson plan, you may want to place a sticker on the left hand for the students.

    This is my right hand way up high.

    This is my left hand touch the sky.

    Right hand, left hand turn around (kids turn around).

    Left hand, right hand pound, pound, pound (clap, clap, clap).

    Read on in the series for more ideas for left and right lesson plans.