Wednesday, January 04, 2012

save, save as fast you can. here are some ideas for your {gingerbread man}

With everything else I have to teach at Christmas, I never have time to really do the gingerbread man justice.  So the last couple years I decided to save it for after Christmas break.  January's always a slow start anyway, so why not have something fun to come back to?

I like to read multiple gingerbread man stories because my class is always split {as is true with any classic story}: some kids have never heard it and of the ones who have, the versions are never the same.  So I read whatever I gather from my teammates.  :)  Here are some of the recurring players:

After reading The Gingerbread Man, we completed a sequencing activity to retell the characters the gingerbread man ran away from.  I'd say it's a Flow Map but since I neglected to add the arrows between the boxes, I'm not sure if it counts. Then in the space at the bottom the students wrote about the ending.

What's the point in reading about gingerbread men if you're not going to make one, right?!  I've used all kids of various candies in the past {usually whatever was left over from parties} but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly it falls off.  Or is picked be passerbys in the matter how many times the "this candy has glue on it and will make you puke" speech is given.  {bleh}  And then it hit me.  Jello!

I still used mini M&Ms for the eyes, sprinkles for the mouths & lifesavers for the candy buttons but decided Jello would stick much better than pipe cleaners, twizzlers, smarties or any other variety of candy that I've tried to add in the past.  {Also, I'm out of glitter glue, which is a major bummer and would've solved this problem.}  If you haven't ever sprinkled Jello powder on wet Elmer's glue let me tell you, it's like magic!  Not only does the glue change to the color of the Jello but it smells {mmmm} delicious.

Was the table a horrible mess after completing this project?  You betcha.  But if you work with anyone under of the age of 5 {or 15 if you're a super great educator} you have to be okay with a little mess.  It's building an experience!  :)
After the glue dried and I shook off the excess candy, I hung them in the hall with our own gingerbread man stories.  Abby at {Babbling Abby} has a great gingerbread outline that we used to write descriptive words as an organizer.  Once I decided to hang it all out in the hallway on our school regulated "Bear Boards" though, I realized I didn't have room for the whole sheet and had to cut it down.  If you want the whole printable, you can get it {here}.
They used their detail words to write their own gingerbread stories.  Lower level students used the starter "My gingerbread boy/girl is _____" while my stronger writers were challenged to write a story about their gingerbread person coming to life.  One was an actor who played a princess in a play while another was a gingerbread cowboy who rode a gingerbread horse!

Here's my gingerbread man flow map for your use if you haven't read them yet this year.  I made the form nice and generic in case your version doesn't have 6 characters for the cookies to run away from.
{You could always use the old lady baking the cookie in the first box to take up space if needed or if you can tell the entire story in 6 boxes, your kids can write about their favorite part - or what the gingerbread man should've done instead - on the line at the bottom.  Just some ideas!!}  Happy creating!


  1. I had no idea about Jello! I can't wait to try this:)

  2. I love teaching with a gingerbread man unit! Thanks for some cute ideas. :)

  3. I adore and collect all things gingerbread, so I had so much fun hearing your latest post and learning about all the wonderful things your students made! There are so many great gingerbread books to use and compare. I'm really looking forward to hearing more posts from you. Although I can't see the actual blog myself, my reader has read much of it to me, and he also told me that the fonts and colors are really cute. :) I love your blog and I'd like to give you the Versatile Bloger Award. You can retrieve details from a recent post on my own blog. Have a nice day!


  4. I pinned your sequencing activity to use with my kiddos next year. Thanks for sharing.

    I also nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check out my blog for the details.

    ✪ Miss W

    Miss W Teaches


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