Missing Mittens

 Missing Mittens
MathStart Series

lesson ideas
& activities




Lesson Idea:  As you read the book...

Stuart Murphy provides the following direction for teachers while reading this book in the classroom:

- Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side represent some even numbers by drawing pairs of small objects. On the other, show odd numbers by drawing pairs of objects, plus one more. Have your child or students tell you how the even numbers are alike and how the odd numbers are alike.

- Reread the story together and count the number of mittens in each picture. Point out that the animals all need one more mitten than they each have. Talk about why the animals need an even number of mittens, and why they always have an odd number.



Lesson Idea:  Activities to build on book learning

Additional activities to help deepen the students' learning (also provided by Murphy on his website):

- Place a small pile of buttons on a table. Is there an even or an odd number of buttons in the pile? Place a second pile on the table. Is there an even or an odd number of buttons in that pile? Add them together. Is that number even or odd? Make new piles and try the activity many times. Do you get an even or an odd number when you add the two evens together? Two odds? And odd and an even?

- Read Missing Mittens and then have students create different scenarios of mittens. In the words of one teacher who does this, "The book is so comically illustrated--they came up with all kinds of scenarios of animals and where mittens could be on them. They loved the cow and the cow's udders and the mittens. That really inspired them to do peacocks with mittens on the feathers. And they had to identify what happened, whether it was an odd number of mittens or an even number. When one mitten is missing, what happens? It was wonderful. They created their own books. And it was very exciting to see the different things the students learned to do."



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