Friday, July 12, 2013

The Gingerbread Man Helps Us Start Our New School Year.

I like to start the year with a character who helps us find our way around the classroom, playground, and our school.  One character that I've used is The Gingerbread Man.  We find him all around our classroom showing us his favorite centers.  We find him on the slide on our playground while we are learning about the playground rules.  And we find him in the office where we get to meet the office ladies.

I also use The Gingerbread Man to teach lots of Common Core skills:
Concepts of print
Retelling a story
Sequencing a story
Number recognition
Number formation 

Here is the student book that helps me teach all of these skills:

This book is so cute when it is stapled together.
You can also use a Gingerbread Man die cut on each setting page.

You can find the download here:
Click on
the image.

As the children complete each pair of pages, they trace the numbers with COLORED GLUE!  The glue dries like puffy paint:  raised so the children can feel the numbers they traced.

You can easily make colored glue by adding liquid food coloring to a bottle of white glue.  I use bottles of glue that are not full so I can really shake the color into the white glue.

You can make the secondary colors by mixing these combinations:
Blue + yellow = green
Blue + red = purple
Red + yellow = orange

But you already knew that, didn't you? 

(I usually make up at least 4 colors of glue and I encourage the children to try a different color each day.)  

So, here is the plan:

~Whole group:  Read The Gingerbread Man and discuss the characters, setting, problem, and solution.

~Small group:  Complete the cover page and page 1 of The Gingerbread Man book template by illustrating the setting for the beginning of the story:  The kitchen.  They trace the small dotted numbers on this page with a crayon.  Draw attention to the rhyming words on the page.

Cover page, page 1 and page 2.

~Then, have each child trace the large dotted numbers on the next page (1, 2, 3) and allow the book to dry on a FLAT surface.

~The next day, meet again in a small group setting to complete the next two pages:  Illustrate the setting, trace the small numbers with a crayon, take note of the rhyming words, and trace the numbers on the following page (4, 5, 6) with colored glue.

Students illustrate with crayons &
trace the large numerals with colored glue.

~Repeat in a small group setting on the following day completing the numbers 7, 8, and 9.

~Repeat in a small group setting on the following day completing the page that says "10, 10, 10..."

We add blue background color
with unwrapped, broken blue crayons.
~The last day, meet in a whole group setting to read and re-read the book together and to a partner.

To extend this activity, read different versions of The Gingerbread Man like The Gingerbread Cowboy, by Janet Squires or The Gingerbread Girl.

The students LOVE this book and they can't wait to feel the raised glue numbers that dried the previous day.  I hope your students enjoy this book as much as mine!

You might also like these:

The Gingerbread Man's Book of Settings:  Use this to teach computer skills.  The students create a setting for their Gingerbread man (you can use die cuts) and you compile the settings to create a class book.  

In December, I create a class graph by asking, "Would you rather be a Gingerbread Man, a reindeer, a snowman, or an elf?"  I take a photo of each child dressed up like their answer and we graph the photos.  Here is the template for the graph signs.  


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