Hey, hey friends!! It’s almost December and that means Gingerbread in the Kindergarten Classroom, in my neck of the woods! Honestly, it is one of my favorite themes to do each year. There are so many standards that you can hit, all while using the gingerbread theme and the many different versions of the gingerbread man story. Check out all of the books I use, as well as activities and games that are purposeful and fun!
I always start out introducing the gingerbread theme by reading one of the ‘original’ versions of the gingerbread man books. It provides a foundation and background for my students. Students need this foundation for retelling, as well as comparing and contrasting the different versions. After reading one of the ‘original’ books, I start introducing the different versions. All of these books are perfect for teaching and reinforcing retelling. The gingerbread man books have an easy pattern for the elements of a story, including characters, setting, beginning, middle and end.
Here are the different versions of the Gingerbread Man that I use in my classroom. Click HERE or the above book collage image to check out all of the books I use in my kindergarten classroom!
Gingerbread Literacy Activities
Themes are fun and bring a new element of freshness and excitement to the station activities in my classroom. Here are a few activities we do and some of the games that we play.
Together as a class, we label a giant gingerbread man. Then my students can label their own gingerbread man at writing station.
Next up, is an opinion poll graph. Which gingerbread book is your favorite? I give the students a gingerbread cut out and they add it to our class graph. I also use this as an opportunity to have my students share the reasons why they chose the book they chose and to have conversation on comparing and contrasting the 2 different texts.
Are you working on CVC words? This game has students matching the gingerbread man with the CVC word, to the cvc gingerbread house. This game can be played independently, with a partner(s), or as a whole group activity. You can find this game here or here.
This pocket chart activity is just some gingerbread color word cards and gingerbread men that I colored to match. Students match the color words and colored gingerbread men.
These are just a few of the many literacy activities that we use in our classroom, during our gingerbread men unit! I don’t have pictures of ALL of the activities we do, but follow my Instagram page to see more!
Raise your hand if you love mini erasers?! I know I do, but I didn’t have any gingerbread ones, until I found these ones on Amazon!
Gingerbread Family Project
I love sending home family projects! We do several every year and both the kids and parents seem to enjoy completing them. This gingerbread man project is a simple gingerbread man paper cut out with directions to ‘camouflage’ the gingerbread man, so he can run away without getting eaten!
Gingerbread House Decorating
This is the culminating project that we do on the last day before winter break! First, I send home this letter asking for food donations from parents. I used to do a sign up sheet, but tried this method a few years ago and it worked so much more efficiently! Basically, I ask for specific items and attach a product, if necessary. It helps so much and the parents love it! By the way, you can get this freebie on my exclusive member club freebie page HERE.
Here is how I plan for our gingerbread houses activity!
The week of the activity, I save the morning breakfast milk cartons from each kid. I empty, rinse them out, and then leave them open to dry out. After they are dry, I staple them shut and then glue them to the foam tray. (Info below)
These are the donations I ask for:
4 boxes of Graham Crackers (I use 3 full crackers for each house, but plan accordingly)
4 Tubs of White Frosting (1 per table)
Plastic Knives (1 for each student…yes, we talk about these are ‘tools’ we use for this activity)
Peppermint Candy Disks
Coconut (for snow)
Mini Candy Canes
After I receive all of the donations, the night before or the morning of the gingerbread house activity, I make up a decorating kit for each student. I divide all of the treats up and separate them into individual baggies. This helps to contain the mess and each student gets to take home their leftovers.
Each student also gets a foam tray as the ‘base’ for their house. (I ask for these from the meat department of our local grocery store.)
When it’s finally time to decorate, I roll out butcher paper on the tables and arrange each kit for the students to assemble.
And finally, I will share my epic gingerbread makeover from last year!
I hope you have enjoyed and been inspired to have your own gingerbread theme this year! As always, feel free to leave a comment here on this post, or email me with any questions you may have that I didn’t answer! Happy December!