This week we went CRAZY for gingerbread men! We started the week using the book “Gingerbread Baby” by Jan Brett as our read aloud and theme for the week. I read the story to my students multiple times and they could not get enough of it.
We used the book in multiple ways:
1. We used the book to go over who the characters are in a story
2. We reviewed the sequence of events
3. We were able to discuss problem and solution
4. We wrote letters to the gingerbread baby
5. We taste-tasted gingerbread cookies and practiced using adjectives (and then graphed what we ate first)
6. We measured the characters from the story using unifix cubes
How awesome is it that ONE picture book created excitement in each subject!
In Math we had a blast using gingerbread men as a theme. The first day we practiced measuring the characters using our snap cubes. I placed character cards all over the room and gave my students a clipboard and recording sheet. The directions were for the students to measure each card using their snap cubes and to record how tall each one was in the correct box on their recording page. My students worked quietly for 35 minutes doing this task! They loved getting up and moving from character to character and did a great job measuring each object. Not only did this lesson help my students with measuring, but it also helped them practice writing their numbers!
We also ate gingerbread men and graphed which part of the gingerbread man they ate first. This was a HIT (as you could only imagine!)
After we made the graph as a group, my students filled in their own graphs using numbers and tally marks.
In writing, my students have been working hard at learning how to write a letter. I used my Frosty the Snowman anchor chart that I made last year to teach them the “Friendly Letter Dance.” To read how to do the dance and how I used this in first grade, click HERE.
One students wrote,
Dear Gingerbread Baby,
You are a naughty boy! Why did you run away? I hope you like the house Matti made for you.
Having my students respond and reflect on the text in this way was great to see what they really held on to from the story.
As a STEM activity, my friend Vickie from Primary Press, had a great idea!
We first experimented with what would have happened if “gingerbread baby” fell into the river. My students were rather disgusted at the mushy mess he became and decided that they MUST create a bridge for him to use to cross the river.
I gave each team two cups full of mini marshmallows and a cup full of toothpicks.
The teams then had to work together to come up with a way to make a bridge for the gingerbread baby.
The conversations amongst my students during this activity were fantastic! I loved the problem solving and ideas that they came up with.
They tested their ideas as they created and finally we shared the bridges with our classmates.
I loved that each bridge came out different and listening to each group explain their bridge was a great “public speaking” opportunity.
Finally, our gingerbread week would not be complete without having my students decorate their own. I took a shortcut and bought Pepperidge Farms gingerbread men and squeeze icing in a bottle and let my students decorate one each.
They LOVED this and it really worked their fine motor skills getting the icing out of the bottles!
I hope that you can use some of these ideas!