Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Gingerbread Man Is Not Just for Christmas

The holidays are over, and I've been back at school for a week. I wanted to take some time to share with something my class did leading up to the holidays. Although holiday-ish, it is my no means limited to holiday time. Many of you may be able to use this in your classroom. And even for substitutes in a long-term position (or even a day or two), this can be a great reading and writing activity.

When deciding what to do in the month of December, I was a little worried since over half of my students do not celebrate Christmas. I wanted to do something that brought the feeling of the month of December, however. I ended up using The Gingerbread Man.

I started the unit by reading as many different versions of The Gingerbread Man as I had. Here are a few I used, but there are so many great ones out there.

We discussed the story structure, analyzing all the parts. We even used a Story Map I found on Teachers Pay Teachers for the students to write out all the parts.

Then I gave them blank copies of that same story map to start planning out their own versions of The Gingerbread Man. The students then used that map as their plan to write their rough draft. They finished off the writing process by revising and editing and writing their final copy on clean notebook paper (fronts only) and stapling the pages together at the top.

To publish the project, I had the students create their main character. I had bought fun foam gingerbread shapes at Michael's that they could use if they chose a gingerbread character. And I just made lots of different colors of construction paper available for decorations or character creating if it wasn't a gingerbread character. Finally, it was all glued on a large sheet of red construction paper. The results were awesome!

Here are some of my favorites. Now, don't look too closely at grammar and spelling. I have mostly ESL students, so those are not their strengths.

First, meet Cheesey Cheese Man.

And this is Gingerbread Cowboy (as in Dallas Cowboys) with Eli Manning and other professional athletes such as Tim Duncan and Tony Parker making cameos in the story.

This is Gingerbread Fisherman. I really loved how this students brought her own interests into the story.

Here is Ninjabread Man. Although, this was an example I gave, so it may not win super creativity points, I thought the student's execution of both the story and the costume were excellent.

And finally, let me introduce Pizza Man. My favorite part of this story was her refrain of, "I'll run and I'll run with my pepperoni twist. You can't catch me. I am the Pizza Man." OK, it doesn't rhyme, but I sure loved that "pepperoni twist" part!


  1. I love this!!! I am pinning it and going to try to remember to do it next year
    Third Grade Tidbits

  2. I loved reading these! What a creative idea!

  3. I am a new follower of yours (as well as a returning substitute teacher) and can not wait to use some of your ideas in the classroom.

    Dreams of a Educator


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