Gingerbread Man Activities

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Decorating gingerbread men gives children fine-motor practice.

Classic stories like "The Gingerbread Man" come alive for children through cross-curricular activities. Use these activities together to create a mini unit, perhaps for the last day of school before winter break, or spread them out over the course of a week to add interest and seasonality to your regular lesson plans.

  1. Language Arts

    • Begin the lesson by discussing the differences between folk tales and modern stories. Folk tales have no definitive version because they have been told and retold over many years.
      Read "The Gingerbread Man" to the class. If you are doing these activities over the course of several days, read a different version each day and discuss the similarities and differences. If you are doing a one-day mini unit, try to read at least two versions of the story during the day.
      Alternatively, tell the story from memory to demonstrate how folk tales are traditionally shared. Use felt board figures to illustrate the story.


    • Cut out three large, three medium and three small paper gingerbread men. Draw three colored buttons down the front of each gingerbread man, so that you have three sets of color-coded gingerbread men. For example, you might have one large, one medium and one small gingerbread man with red buttons, a set of gingerbread men with blue buttons and a third set with green buttons.
      Encourage individuals or pairs of students to group them according to size. Then ask the children to regroup them according to button color.
      Use the gingerbread men to create addition sentences such as "one gingerbread man plus two gingerbread men is three gingerbread men."

    Social Studies

    • Encourage the students to draw maps depicting the gingerbread man's adventures. Remind them to include landmarks. After the activity, announce that there is a gingerbread man loose in the school, and present the students with a map of the school. Draw or glue a small gingerbread man at several locations on the map, such as the cafeteria, gym, nurse's office and principal's office. Follow the map throughout the school, and introduce the children to important staff members at each location. Arrange for a staff member at each location to give the children a short introduction to his job.


    • If you have the facilities available, bake gingerbread cookies with the children. If not, bring pre-baked cookies into class and allow the children to decorate them with tubes or small pastry bags filled with colored icing.
      Give the students brown felt cut in the shape of a gingerbread man. Provide an assortment of buttons, rick rack, fabric scraps and other embellishments to decorate their gingerbread men.

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