Gingerbread Man Activities for Kindergarten

"The Gingerbread Man" is a beloved story and a perfect kindergarten unit near the holidays. Students love the playful nature of the plot and enjoy exploring different versions of the story. Incorporating a variety of language and math skills into engaging activities provides students with essential practice while fostering their love of this traditional story.

  1. Literature Exploration

    • One of the best characteristics of "The Gingerbread Man" is its versatility. There are countless versions of this popular tale and students will love exploring them all. After introducing the traditional story to students, find available variations. Select a diverse collection including a variety of characters, settings and story events. Popular kindergarten titles include "The Gingerbread Girl" by Lisa Campbell Ernst, "The Gingerbread Boy" by Richard Egielski, "Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett and "The Gingerbread Cowboy" by Janet Squires. Create a grid by writing literature elements down the left vertical side of a poster board and book titles across the top horizontal side. Try including literature elements such main character, setting, supporting characters, ending and character "chant." After reading a version of the story, enlist student help to fill in the book's column on the grid. Try writing student responses on sticky notes and placing them in the appropriate boxes on the chart. Discuss similarities and differences between the stories. After reading all the chosen variations, encourage students to discuss which was their favorite and why.

    A Delicious Graph

    • Focus on graphing concepts while decorating and eating gingerbread man cookies. Before the lesson, prepare a large class bar graph with three choices across the bottom -- head, arm and leg. If desired, label the left vertical side with number references. Make sure to include enough boxes in each column for every student. Bake or buy enough bare gingerbread man cookies for the class. Provide frosting, sprinkles and candy for decorations. After students decorate their cookies, allow them to choose what their first bite will be -- the gingerbread man's head, arm or leg. Invite students to take one bite of their cookie and then come record their choice on the class graph. Before allowing students to finish their cookies, discuss the results of the graph including which choice has the most and least and whether any of the choices are equal. Encourage students to explain why they chose that body part as their first bite. For example, a student may choose to bite his leg so he can't run away from her. After reviewing the graph, allow students to finish their cookie creations.

    Gingerbread Man Glyph

    • Using glyphs in the classroom helps students learn to represent data in visual form as well as analyze and read visual representations of information. To complete this glyph, students must listen carefully to directions and create their gingerbread man according to their information. Provide each student with a brown gingerbread man cutout. Provide specific directions for decorating the cutout. For example, "If you are a girl, give your gingerbread man blue eyes. If you are a boy, make his eyes green." Continue to provide directions including nose, mouth, buttons and decorations. For example, "If you like to eat gingerbread, make your buttons triangle. If you do not like to eat gingerbread, make your buttons circle." When students complete their glyphs, display them on a bulletin board along with a key listing the directions. Encourage students to read their peers' glyphs and guess who they belong to.

    Gingerbread Play Dough

    • Encourage fine motor development with this twist on traditional play dough. Students will love using rollers and cutters to explore this homemade play dough and the delicious scent. Mix one cup flour, 1/2 cup salt and two teaspoons cream of tartar in a medium bowl. Add traditional gingerbread spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice until the play dough has a noticeable scent. Mix one cup water and one teaspoon vegetable oil in a small bowl. Add to dry ingredients and cook the mixture in a sauce pot on low for two to three minutes. Stir the mixture frequently. When the dough starts to pull away from the pot, remove to a counter and knead until smooth. Cool, store in a container and allow students to play.

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