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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Mitten

For the next few weeks, our Language Learning lessons will be centered around the Ukrainian folk tale of "The Mitten."  In this story someone loses a mitten and a number of animals decide to make it their home.  Through comparing a variety of versions, the students will discover how language and story telling has its basis in oral traditions first.  The students will be making text-to-self connections, looking for similarities and differences, practicing using synonyms, learning how to properly use quotation marks to indicate the speech of a story character and re-telling a story or using a story to pattern a new story after.
Perhaps the best known version of this folk tale is Jan Brett's.  It was compared to Alvin Tressault's version.
We were fortunate enough to be able to hear the story in the Ukrainian language!  Who helped us?
We were visited by the Ukrainian Creative Arts class and in small groups the story was read to the students in it's original language. (Thank you to these great students!)
The little ones learned that in this version, it is a grandfather who lost the mitten, not a small boy.
They were able to hear the sound of the language....
...and see how different the writing looks!
The older students helped the little ones learn the names of the animals in Ukrainian and wrote those names on the whiteboard in Ukrainian.  What a wonderful afternoon!  Both the Grade 2 and Grade 3 social studies curriculum has connections to Ukraine so this works well on two different levels.

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