January Author of the Month: Jan Brett

Brrr!  Winter is here!  Time for January’s Author of the Month – Jan Brett.  An obvious choice perhaps, but her books just can’t be beat – especially for January.  I love her winter books like The Mitten and The Hat so much, I even decorate my kitchen with red and white mitten themed decorations for January and February!

Mitten Decorations

Mitten Decorations

In addition to winter decorating inspiration, here are some fun activities to do with Jan Brett’s books all month.

Jan Brett Books

Jan Brett Books

  • The Mitten – Make a chart of the animals in the story.  Discuss how they survive in the cold weather.
  • The Hat – Practice making text to text connections with The Mitten.  Also, use this book to introduce Jan Brett’s character Hedgie.  Follow it up with Hedgie’s Surprise and Hedgie Blasts Off!  Then make Hedgies out of brown construction paper circles and toothpicks.
    Hedgie

    Hedgie

    Have kids use the Hedgies they made to imagine new adventures for Hedgie.  Then have them write their own stories about these adventures.  Over the years I’ve done this with kids, these stories are always some of the best writing I see each year.  Hedgie is such a fun character, he sparks great creativity in the kids.  He’s been a superhero, a detective, you name it!  Also Hedgie appears at least once in every Jan Brett book.  Kids LOVE hunting for their little buddy in the illustrations of all her books, usually making them the most popular books in the classroom each year.

  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Snow Bears – Compare and contrast the two versions and make text to text connections between the books.  Also discuss the polar habitat and forest habitat and compare the two.
  • Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends – Compare and contrast them with the original “Gingerbread Man” story.  Make and decorate gingerbread cookies.  Perhaps even stage a runaway gingerbread cookie hunt in your classroom!

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