Do you read the Gingerbread Man to your students in December?! If so, here are some fun ways to use this classic fairy tale in your classroom for reading, writing, and STEM! Before I dive in, I wanted to let you know you can watch or listen to all this information in video format below:
The Gingerbread Man is a classic fairy tale that is often told around this time in the classroom and in homes all over the United States. There are many different versions available for you to explore which is part of the fun. In this post, I will share some literacy activities, some math activities, as well as some “just for fun” activities that you may want to do with your students!
Literacy Activities for The Gingerbread Man
The Gingerbread Man is fun for students because most of them have heard some version of the tale before. It also has that fun rhythm for them to join in on (Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the gingerbread man!)
After you read any version of The Gingerbread Man, you can have your students retell it using their own words. This story is great for sequencing and they can do this in pairs or small groups by going step-by-step through the story. You could also have students complete this independently with any sort of retelling or sequencing sheet where they must write or draw what happened in order.
To make your lives a little easier, I also created this FREE cut-and-paste gingerbread sequencing sheet for students to cut and paste the different events in order. If your version of the story doesn’t have all the steps shown, feel free to draw an x through the pictures that don’t apply or you could simply cut them out and not use those images with your students!
To grab your own copy, just click below:
Gingerbread Reader’s Theater
I love using reader’s theater in the classroom! It helps students with fluency. It helps with speaking in front of peers. It’s just plain fun!
You can find a bunch of Reader’s Theater scripts online, some even have printable headbands or props they can use as well! I like to split my students up into four separate groups and give them each a different part. After they practice their scripts for about 10 minutes over a few days, we have a Gingerbread Day where each group can perform in front of the class!
To grab your own scripts, just head to Teachers Pay Teachers and type in “Gingerbread Man reader’s theater” there are a bunch on there. There are also these from Scholastic that I have used in the past: Scholastic Gingerbread Readers Theater
Compare & Contrast Different Versions of the Tale
Probably my favorite of all activities is to read many different versions of The Gingerbread Man and compare them! There are so many different Gingerbread books that you can choose from to read with your class. After you pick out a few and read different versions of the book, we simply create a Venn diagram, and together, we discuss the differences and similarities between them.
Below are a few of my favorite Gingerbread books to choose from!
See them here:
Gingerbread Man: Writing Activities
After reading any of the Gingerbread books, you can move on to some story-based writing activities with your class. Below are a few writing prompts to use based on the Gingerbread books:
How to Catch the Gingerbread Man
For informative writing, this is a simple procedural writing prompt where students have to come up with a plan for how exactly to catch the Gingerbread Man before the fox gets him. You can go over the story with them and come up with the first, next, and last steps to catch the Gingerbread Man.
Which Cookie Would You Rather Eat?
For opinion writing, you can give your students three options: gingerbread cookie, sugar cookie, or chocolate chip cookie, and have them choose which cookie they would prefer to eat and why.
Before we do this writing activity, if it is possible in your classroom, I like to do a taste test with all three cookie types. I also like to make this the “Question of the Day” on the board in the morning of the day I plan to do this activity. I would put up a graph on the board and have each student select which cookie they would prefer to eat. Then, for the writing part, they would choose which cookie they prefer and give at least one reason why they would choose that cookie.
What Would You Do If You Caught the Gingerbread Man?
For a narrative writing prompt, you can have your students write about what they would do if they caught the Gingerbread Man. Would your students play with him? Would they be best friends? Would they make him do their chores? The gingerbread books already have so many fun twists and turns that I love seeing what students come up with for this response!
If you’re interested in more writing prompts and activities like this, check out my SJT Writing Club! I have a whole section on story-based writing activities to go with the Gingerbread Man book. See more on that here >>> SJT WRITING CLUB
Fun & STEM Activities
After reading any of the Gingerbread books, you can have your students do a Gingerbread Glyph, like the free one below from Sunny Days on TPT! Just click the image below to grab your copy:
Students will all start with their brown gingerbread man cutouts. Then, they will go through a list to see how they should design their gingerbread man based on their birthday month, their favorite pet, their age, etc. This way everyone has a unique gingerbread man! This is a great activity for students, and it is always fun to see how different each of their gingerbread men turn out!
With STEM activities, you want to provide your students with a problem that they need to solve. In K-2, this usually consists of having students build something. Some materials to use in STEM centers include magnet tiles, legos, building blocks, connecting tubes, toothpicks and gumdrops or marshmallows, and play-doh.
Using the Gingerbread Man books, one of the most common STEM activities is to have your students build a bridge for the Gingerbread Man to cross over the river. To see an example, head to Coffee Fueled Classroom: Gingerbread STEM Challenge.
Another popular STEM activity based on the books is to create a gingerbread trap (Tip: do this with the How To Catch a Gingerbread Man writing prompt). And finally, you can have your students use their materials to build a Gingerbread home for the Gingerbread Man to live in!
So there are a bunch of fun, different activities to do during the holiday season around the fairytale, The Gingerbread Man! Do you have other activities you love?! Let me know down in the comments.
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