With the holiday season in full swing, you may be getting ready to start a unit on everyone’s favorite mischievous cookie—the gingerbread man! You can use this fun story to create meaningful lessons in the kindergarten classroom. Students love learning about all things gingerbread, so I try to include plenty of activities and read alouds containing gingerbread people! Students love exploring these fun stories and characters during the Christmas season. So, if you want to know how you can incorporate some gingerbread fun into your lessons, keep reading! This article will cover some of my favorite gingerbread activities for kindergarten and how you can use them in your own classroom!
Different Read Alouds
To kick off any gingerbread man unit, I like to share a variety of gingerbread read alouds from my book list with my students. Of course, they love the classic story of The Gingerbread Man where he tricks all of the different characters —until it comes to the sly fox. I have also found that there are different gingerbread books that students love just as much! Gingerbread stories like Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst and Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett end differently than the traditional story. Plus, I love surprising my students with the unexpected endings!
After reading the different versions of The Gingerbread Man story, I also love bringing gingerbread activities into our reading comprehension lessons. Students can practice skills like retelling by acting out the story with classmates. They can also sequence the classic story by putting pictures in the correct order.
Another reading comprehension skill that students can practice through gingerbread activities is comparing. Students love noting the differences between the traditional story of The Gingerbread Man and other variations that we read together! Because there are so many great gingerbread read alouds, it is always so easy to practice different reading comprehension skills within a gingerbread unit!
During a gingerbread unit, I also try to include gingerbread centers. It seems that students engage more with centers if they have a theme that students are interested in. Believe me, after those read alouds, students will be interested in The Gingerbread Man!
In a writing center, students can label the parts of a gingerbread man or write about where they would go if they were a gingerbread man. In math centers, students can do fun activities like count gumdrops on task cards. There are even ways you can integrate gingerbread activities into your literacy centers. For example, students can practice matching uppercase and lowercase letters printed on gingerbread cookies. Students love these types of centers because they include one of their new favorite characters!
Incorporating centers into your lesson plans is a fun way to help your students work on their literacy skills while still including the gingerbread man theme!
Writing and STEM
After learning about gingerbread characters, it is easy to integrate gingerbread activities into your writing block. One of my favorite prompts is to have students write about how they would catch a gingerbread man that was on the run. Students always have some funny and creative ideas!
You can even take this a step further and turn it into a STEM project. Students can build a bridge for a gingerbread man using provided materials. This activity is a great way to keep your kids busy while you work on other things! Plus, it is always fun to see what students come up with using their creativity and problem-solving skills!
Gingerbread Man Craft
Another fun idea for incorporating gingerbread men into your lessons is with gingerbread crafts! There are a few different ways to go about this. First, your students can roll out play dough and use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out gingerbread men. As they're doing this, they're also working on their fine motor skills, which are super important for little learners!
Second, you can have your students trace and cut out gingerbread men from construction paper and color them however they like! I love doing this kind of activity during morning work or when I need 15 extra minutes to work on something. In addition, you can have your students work on these independently or in a small group to keep them occupied.
The Benefits of Gingerbread Activities for Kindergarten
You can cover so many concepts with these adorable gingerbread man activities. Reading, writing, centers, and even STEM topics all fit well with The Gingerbread Man, leading you right into Christmas Break! These gingerbread theme activities will surely keep your kindergarten students engaged during the month of December, and hopefully teach them valuable skills they can take with them into the new year!