The Gingerbread
Man Unit
Sneak Peek at the Week
Monday-Thursday: Read as many versions of The Gingerbread Man story as you can
Friday: Bake gingerbread men (who "run away" just like the ones in the stories).
Shared Reading:

What Can You See? by Avelyn
Focus Poetry:

"The Secret"
Journal Topics:
*Draw a gingerbread man
*Draw the gingerbread man running away from the old lady and the old man
*Who is your favorite character?
*What would happen if the gingerbread man didn't get tricked by the fox? Where do you
think he might have gone?  What do you think he would have done?
Center Ideas:
art center: decorate gingerbread man cut out with various art materials (fabric,
yarn, paper, buttons, felt, glitter, etc.)

fine motor:  perforate/trace gingerbread man shape, gingerbread man scribble

writing: "The gingerbread man is _____."

storytelling: put out flannel board story or simple props (rolling pin, gingerbread
cookie cutter, fox mask, etc.)

sewing: sew a gingerbread man shape

reading: Copy the chant "Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm
the Gingerbread Man!" on 2 sets of sentence strips.  One set stays in the pocket
chart, the other is cut into separate words for the students to match.
The Gingerbread Man by Brenda Parkes and Judith Smith (big book)
*After reading this version, each child completes and illustrates the writing
prompt: "He ran away from _______."  

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett

The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone

The Gingerbread Man (rebus story by MacMillan)
*We graph our favorite characters from this version.

The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt
*We sequence 6 picture cards, depicting the woman baking the gingerbread
man, the gingerbread man running away from the old woman, running away from
the cow, running away from the horse, riding on the fox's back, and the fox alone,
licking his lips.

The Gingerbread Boy by Scott Cook

The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
*We usually read this tale last and use a Venn diagram to compare this version
to the more traditional ones.
More Gingerbread Man Unit Literature:
You can click on the book covers to get summaries, reviews, and purchase info from
*We graph:  
"Have You Ever Tasted Gingerbread?"  
"Who is Your Favorite Character?"  
"Which Version is Your Favorite?"   
"Do You Like Gingerbread?"
"Which Part Did You Eat First?"

*We also make our first pattern hat: gluing 2 colors of die-cut gingerbread men
on a sentence strip to create an AB pattern.

*We estimate how many bites it will take to eat our cookies.

*We also make a "Gingerbread Man's Buttons" Book.  There is a gingerbread
man outline and numeral on all 5 pages.  The students glue the correct
number of "buttons" to each cookie.

*This year, we made Gingerbread Men "to order."   Each student got a large
gingerbread man cut-out and a cookie order form.  On the order form, students
had to determine how many M&M's, raisins, and red hots they needed to
decorate their cookies.   Once they filled in the numerals, they counted out the
correct number of "candies" to glue on their paper cookies.  This activity
turned out to be a wonderful math assessment!
Science/Social Studies:
We use this unit to explore our 5 senses, especially smell and taste!  
After reading some of the Gingerbread tales, we discuss what it
would've smelled like in that kitchen or looked like to have decorated the
cookie or what a gingerbread man might sound like if he could really
say, "Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me, I'm the
Gingerbread Man!"  But we always think about how he would TASTE!  
As an extension, we pass out old magazines for the students to cut out
pictures of things they like to see, touch, smell, taste, or hear.  Then
they glue them to the corresponding poster (kept in the science center).

We also learn a little about "geography" during this unit.  When our
cookies "run away" we have to search all over the school for them.  We
always know where to look next because our gingerbread men leave
clues. ("Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me, I'm the
Gingerbread Man.  Go to the
nurse  (library/counselor/cafeteria/
office/secretary/principal) and look for me.  Go to the
(library/etc.).  That's where I'll be!").  Each location has a clue leading us
one step closer to the gingerbread men.  We end up in the principal's
office, where she's been talking to our cookies about "running in the
halls".  After eating our gingerbread and recording which part we ate
first, we list all the places we searched and how we got there.  (Teacher
makes a "map" of the hunt as the students describe the locations.)
First, we decorated our
gingerbreadmen. Then
we hid them away so they
couldn't escape while we
went to lunch.
Then we discover that
they've run away,
leaving only a
man-shaped clue.
Yikes!  "Have you seen our
gingerbread men?"
We follow all the clues, searching in the clinic, the library, the counselor's office, the receptionist, and
finally the principal's office.  Whew!  What a trip!
Dress the Gingerbread Cookie       
G is for Gingerbread
Jan Brett's Site                            
The Gingerbread Man   
A Week's Worth of Gingerbread   
Gingerbread Man Links   
Gingerbread Man Book Study