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If you are short on activities to do around the holiday, you can incorporate the letter “G” and gingerbread into your curriculum.
- Start out by discussing the letter “G” and the sounds it makes. Invite your students to tell you words that start with the letter “G.” This will help them to realize what sounds the letter “G” makes.
- After this introduction, read the book Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. This is a cute story about a gingerbread man cookie that got out of the oven when it was still a gingerbread baby. The baby runs away from the house he was baking in and causes chaos in the local town. The students really enjoy this book because of the mischief that Gingerbread Baby causes.
- Cut out enough gingerbread man outlines for all of your students on full size brown construction paper. Depending on your students’ ability levels, you might want to trace the pattern and cut it or let them do it themselves.
- Before the lesson, cut four small pieces of red rik-rak (a type of ribbon with a zigzag pattern) per child. These 4 pieces will go on the ankles and wrists as if they were icing on the gingerbread man cookie. I have even found red rik-rak with silver threading details in the past. Make sure students use enough glue so that the ribbon stays glued down. From my experience, I have learned that it takes more glue than I thought it would.
- Tell the students to take three buttons in Christmas colors (or random colors), and glue them down the center of the gingerbread man as if they were on his shirt.
- Next, students will draw eyes, a mouth and a nose on his face.
- With white craft glue, outline the gingerbread man along his entire body.
- Sprinkle ground cinnamon onto the glue and let it dry. This makes the cookie smell like a true gingerbread man cookie. (It also makes your classroom smell good!) Students enjoy sprinkling the cinnamon because it can be a little messy! So make sure that you have a large surface area to work on (like a cookie sheet with sides), or else you will be collecting cinnamon on the bottom of your shoes for days!
- Let the gingerbread men dry because the glue will drip from the buttons and rik rak.
- A tasty addition: You can bring gingerbread cookies to class to let the children snack on while they are making their crafts.
I have found it helpful to show my class an image of a gingerbread man on the SmartBoard so that they have something to look at besides my example. This activity can be molded and adapted to fit almost any grade. You can do a writing extension where your students write a story about what their gingerbread man can do. These make cute classroom decorations for the holiday season, as well!
Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia who enjoys incorporating creative, interactive ideas into her lessons…and then sharing them with us through A Learning Experience!