It’s almost winter! With winter comes adorable and tasty little gingerbread men! I have nine different versions of this silly tale, and I adore them all! When the weather gets colder and the gingerbread cookies start appearing in the stores, I pull out all my gingerbread books and begin teaching The Gingerbread Man unit. Not only is this tricky little cookie perfect for teaching reading and writing, but there are some great Gingerbread Man math and science activities too!
In this blog, I will share my favorite Gingerbread Man activities for kindergarten, as well as book recommendations and teacher approved videos. To save you time, we have created some adorable Gingerbread Man printables to complement all of the activities in this blog. I hope you enjoy!
Gingerbread Man Book Recommendations
There are lots of great Gingerbread Man books. Here are my favorites.
The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt is a traditional gingerbread man story. It has an old woman and an old man and a little boy (who opens the oven too soon, and out pops the gingerbread man). He is chased by farmers and various animals only to be outsmarted by a sly fox. This book has bright, beautiful illustrations and is readily available for a very affordable price.
The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst is an adorable twist on the traditional tale. It is the story of the gingerbread boy’s smarter sister. Not only does this sassy cookie tame the naughty fox, she also makes sure the lonely old man and woman are never lonely again. Your kids will love this fun story with its very happy ending.
The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Another personal favorite. This delightful version is set in the Swiss Alps, with dazzling illustrations, complete with Jan Brett’s picturesque borders (allowing us to see what’s happening elsewhere in the story) and an adorable baby gingerbread cookie for everyone to chase. This book also has a happily ever after for our gingerbread baby.
The Gingerbread Boy by Richard Egielski is one of my personal favorites, this book is set in modern day, New York City. Instead of farmers and cows chasing him, this gingerbread boy has rats and construction workers after him. He runs all over the city and through central park where he meets a fox (from the zoo) and, well, you know the rest. If you’ve ever been to New York City, you will recognize many of these places. This book is gorgeous! It is also great for comparing settings.
More Gingerbread Man Books:
Here are two more books by various authors. They are traditional Gingerbread Man stories.
The following two Gingerbread Man books are cute sequels. Be sure to read the originals before you read these two.
The Gingerbread Man Literacy Activities
This classic tale with its many different versions, lends itself wonderfully to teaching story elements. Read a different book each day and have your students compare the characters, setting, problem and solution. For a detailed description of story elements and how to teach them, read our blog How to Teach Story Elements in Kindergarten.
The Gingerbread Man Writing Activities
It’s always nice when your writing lesson complements your reading lesson. This is easy to accomplish with the Gingerbread Man as your theme and story elements as your focus. After discussing story elements in reading, have your students write about them with our story elements worksheets. You can also have your students write about their favorite character, favorite part of the story, or favorite version with our Gingerbread Man Unit! Another fun Gingerbread Man writing activity is to create a class book with your students as characters running after that quick cookie. We have also included a template for the class book activity in our Gingerbread Man Unit.
Gingerbread Man Math Activity
This Gingerbread Man First Bite graphing activity is always a crowd pleaser. It’s simple too! All you need are some gingerbread man cookies (1 per student), a teacher made The First Bite graph, and some paper gingerbread men (1 per student). We have included these paper Gingerbread men in our Gingerbread Man Unit for Kindergarten. Simply read a Gingerbread Man story. Then explain that you are going to graph the first bite of the cookie. Show students the graph (see image above). There should be one column for the legs, one for the arms, and one for the head. Then give each student 1 gingerbread man cookie. Once all the cookies are passed out, tell your students they can take their first bite. Then have each student color a paper gingerbread man, cut off the part where they took their first bite and place it in the corresponding column on the graph. When all the paper gingerbread men have been placed on the graph, count the number in each column and discuss the results with your students. You may want to ask questions such as:
- How many people took a bite of the arm first? The head? The leg?
- Which column has the most gingerbread men? The least?
- How many more/less people took a bite of the arm than the leg?
Gingerbread Man Science Experiment
Having young students use the scientific method to explore, question, test, and discuss is always a fun and educational way to teach science. Check out our free scientific method chart for kindergartners. You can use this chart every time you do a science experiment. It works great with this easy Gingerbread Man science experiment from PreK Pages. For this, you will need:
- Gingerbread Man Cookie(s)
- clear plastic cup(s)
- stopwatch or timer (optional)
- tongs (optional)
- scientific method chart (optional)
- data collections pages (optional)
Depending on class size, you could have each of your students conduct this experiment on their own, or in table groups. Since I always had 25 or more students, I would conduct the experiment while they were all watching. We would use cooperative learning strategies to discuss and share thoughts and ideas as we worked together through the scientific method. Follow the steps below:
Step 1: Data Collection
Have each student taste a gingerbread man cookie (If you do this experiment right after your First Bite graph, you can simply have your students recall how the cookie tasted). Have your students describe their cookie (shape, color, texture, taste, smell…) Record their observations using our data collection pages.
Step 2: Question
Begin by asking your students, “Why do you think the Gingerbread man was so afraid to go in the water?” After allowing some time for discussion, ask, “What will happen when we put the cookie into water?” You may want to write the question on the board.
Step 3: Hypothesis
Explain that a hypothesis is a good guess. Have a few volunteers share their hypothesis. You may want to give them the sentence stem I think… or I hypothesize…. Encourage them to explain their thinking.
Step 4: Experiment
Place the cookie into the cup of water. Have your students discuss what they notice. Does the cookie float or sink? Does the cookie look different? Set a timer. Check on the cookie every 15 seconds. You could use tongs to take it out and observe it. Record student observations. After a minute or so the cookie will break apart and begin to dissolve.
Step 5: Conclusion
Have your students revisit their hypotheses. Ask questions such as How has your thinking changed? What have you learned? What happened to the Gingerbread Man when it was placed in water? Explain that now you know why the Gingerbread Man didn’t want to get wet!
Gingerbread Man Art Activities for Kindergarten
We have created a fun Gingerbread Man Art Activity, included in our Gingerbread Man Unit, for your students to do in the classroom or as a take home project. Just read your favorite Gingerbread Man book to your class and send this project home as a great extension! This Gingerbread Man art activity is perfect for children of all ages and abilities! The parent letter and instructions are included so you don’t have to do any work! There is a fun and cute writing component included as well.
Teacher Approved Gingerbread Man Videos
Here are some cute and fun Gingerbread Man Videos you can add to your day whenever your kids need to move or just need a quick brain break.
The Gingerbread Man | Fairy Tales | Gigglebox (4m29s): This is an animated version of the classic tale.
Gingerbread Man Dance and Freeze | Jack Hartmann | Holiday Freeze Dance (3m38s): Play this song when your kids need a movement break and have them dance with Jack Hartmann.
“The Gingerbread Cookie Dance!”🎄/// Danny Go! Christmas Songs for Kids (2m45s): Here is another song your kids can dance to.
5 Gingerbread Men | Song Lyrics Video | Kids Christmas Songs | The Kiboomers (2m48s) : Have your students count down from 5 with this fun song.
More Fun Activities from 4 Kinder Teachers
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