Our past two weeks have been full of fun, hands-on gingerbread activities! The December chaos has hit my room hard, and these were this was the perfect way to let us have fun while still learning a lot.
The History of Gingerbread
We started the first day by activating our schema about gingerbread and reading about their history. If we were going to be spending weeks doing gingerbread activities, I thought knowing what gingerbread actually is would help!
We read this nonfiction book to find out all about the history of gingerbread and why it is so popular today and then added that information to our anchor chart.
Students wrote 3 things they learned about gingerbread. Obviously, this looked different for each student. Some wrote sentences, some wrote a word in each box, and some drew pictures.
Gingerbread First Bite Graphing
We also got to taste gingerbread! I had each of my students take one bite only and then graph where they bit first. Of course, then we chowed down!
We practiced labeling our gingerbread with this interactive anchor chart. My class this year has struggled with matching words, so this was the perfect way to practice.
This also gave us an opportunity to discuss words that might trick them, like ‘eye’ and ‘arm.’
Students then labeled their own gingerbread pages.
Comparing Gingerbread Versions
Every morning, we read a different gingerbread book. We discussed the main character, their refrain, and the ending. We also learned that some books don’t have a refrain!
Can Gingerbread Swim?
After reading different gingerbread versions, we pondered the question, “Why didn’t the gingerbread man just swim across the river?” My students had a few ideas, but then I showed them this gingerbread man that I had let soak in water for only a couple minutes.
When I tried to take the cookie out, it broke apart! We learned that gingerbread gets too soggy in water. We would have to find another way for him to get across.
Gingerbread Building Bridges STEM Activity
Students worked in table groups to build a bridge that would support the gingerbread man and help him get across the river.
I gave each table these materials:
You could make it more challenging by making the gingerbread heavier, but this was the perfect level for my students.
After they finished their bridges, they drew their bridge and the materials they used.
We had a lot of fun in math, too! You can read more about our gumdrop measurement activity here.
Gingerbread 5 Senses
In science, we explored gingerbread using our five senses.
Students got another gingerbread cookie and, as a group, we talked about how they looked, how they smelled, and how they felt. Then, we took ate them and we talked about how they tasted and how they sounded when we bit them.
Students chose one word for each sense and complete this craft after: