The Gingerbread Man



Run, run, as fast as you can.

You can't catch me,

I'm the Gingerbread Man!






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Making Words:  Place the title "The Gingerbread Man" in the pocketchart along with the letter cards creating the title.  Show students how to create new words from the letters in "The Gingerbread Man."  For example, you can make the words:


ginger the man bread an me
thing ring tan hand ran eat
beat meat heat dear read mint


*you can see an example of this in picture form at Literacy Connections.  The example is done using the word "shamrock".



Gingerbread Man Glyph

Hair Color:    

If you have a sister, color it yellow.

If you have a brother, color it brown.
If you have both, color it black.
If you have no siblings, color it red.

Eye Color:     

If you prefer watching TV, color them blue.

If you prefer reading a book, color them green.

Add a nose:

If you are a boy, color it orange.
If you are a girl, color it purple.


If your favorite dessert is ice cream, color it yellow.
If your favorite dessert is cookies, color it red.
If your favorite dessert is cake, color it green.


If you prefer playing inside, color them blue.
If you prefer playing outside, color them green.

Squiggles on Hands: 

If you are left-handed, color them red.
If you are right-handed, color them purple.

Squiggles on Feet: 

If you have a dog, color them blue.
If you have a cat, color them red.

If you have a cat and a dog, color them green.
If you have a different pet, color them yellow.
If you have no pet, color them orange.

X’s on feet:   

Color them yellow if you come to school in a car.
Color them green if you come to school in a van.
Color them blue if you come to school on a bus.
Color them brown if you walk.
Color them black if you ride your bicycle.


Another glyph:


Rhyming:  I programmed cut-outs with rhyming words.  Students match the rhyming words.

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Flannelboard:  I hot glued squares of sandpaper to the back of the bulletin board set to make a flannelboard set to use when retelling the story.


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Sequencing: Use pictures from your favorite book for the students to sequence in the pocketchart (for practice) and then on their own as an assessment.  These pictures go with the Paul Galdone version (not my favorite at all, but I had ordered it specifically to go with these activities) and are found in a Gingerbread Thematic Unit.  I created the format for my students to glue them in order.


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Gingerbread Man Shapes Book:  Frog Street Press has the reproducible for this book in the back of the Color Words book I believe.  The kids will make the book for their Book Boxes, and then we also use this Song Chart to track the words as we sing.  I've found it's much easier to use a Song Chart than to try and quickly turn the pages of the books.


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*Victoria, at Kinder Korner, has also recently created for purchase a Zip Around game using the gingerbread man and shapes as well.


Puppets:  We made these puppets to use in retelling the story.  We also used the pattern for these to create the pictures for our hallway display.


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Sequencing: The children dictated the sentences for the sentence strips, then we used them to sequence the events of the story.  The TA used the book to photocopy the pictures, colored and laminated them to go with each sentence strip.


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Sequencing: After reading Paul Galdone's version of The Gingerbread Boy several times, have students read sentences, cut apart into strips and glue in correct sequence on corresponding sheet.  **Students will be more successful if you don't allow them to glue until they've put all the strips in order FIRST.  Simply telling mine to do this DID NOT work! :) **


The Gingerbread Boy sequencing


Sentence Frame: Each student completed the sentence frame - I would run from a ...

We recorded their answers, then created the sentence strips with the accompanying pictures.

 click on image to enlarge


Compare/Contrast:  Of course you can't do this unit without comparing and contrasting some of the many Gingerbread Man books.  I usually draw a Venn diagram (two overlapping circles) on the board or butcher paper.  I choose two of the Gingerbread Man books that are the most different, then we compare and contrast them and write our conclusions on the diagram.  The Gingerbread Baby is usually a good choice to use in this activity along with one of the more traditional books.


This Venn diagram was in the Gingerbread Thematic Unit.  My TA enlarged it onto brown construction paper and we laminated it.  We wrote our responses using a Vis-a-Via pen so that the diagram can be reused.



What If?:  Ask your students what would happen if the Gingerbread Man would have made different choices instead of getting on the fox's back.  What would have happened to him if he'd decided to try and swim across the river?  What would have happened if he'd decided to jump off the fox's back rather than climb higher? 


After they've made their predictions, place a gingerbread man cookie in a glass jar of water.  Let them SEE what would have happened to the gingerbread man if he'd chosen either of those alternatives.  The cookie should begin to break down after a while in the water.  If he seems to be holding together too well, you might have to swish him around to simulate the river's currents. :)  Be ready for a lot of "ewwww's!!!" as he turns into a soggy mess!!!


Gingerbread Man Number Word/Counting book:  I made this emergent reader to use with my kindergarteners.  I made it to use with my student who's ready to fill in the correct number word on each page.  But as I was printing it, I thought "Hey, my other student can just as easily count the sets and write the number in the blank, too." 

There's two pages to print per sheet.  After printing them, simply cut them in half.  Provide a chart for your students to use while copying the appropriate number word into each blank.

The Gingerbread Man number word/counting book


Gingerbread Man Graph:  Provide each student with a gingerbread man cookie.  I use the ones that come individually packaged from Little Debbie.  (And they're yummy, too.  Not too strong)  Have each student take one bite from their cookie.  Graph the body part that each student bit.  For instance, graph whether or not they bit off the head, right leg, left leg, right arm, left arm.  This would also be a good practicing skill for right/left.  (Less advanced students might do head, leg, arm)  You can graph them using a bar graph or a pictograph.  To make the pictograph, cut out a gingerbread man using a die-cut for each student.  After they've made that initial bite, then have them tear off that part of their paper gingerbread man.  You can then glue or tape these into the correct column creating a pictograph.



Pocketchart Counting: Cut out 55 gingerbread men using the Ellison machine.  Decorate and laminate them.  Place them in the pocketchart with number cards 1 - 10.  Students count the gingerbread men and place the correct number card on the row.  All number cards are displayed on the top row.  If needed, you can place a number line there as well.



Counting Activity:  I used two sizes of notepads to create this counting activity and then laminated them.  In hindsight, I would suggest gluing the pages to a half sheet/quarter sheet of construction paper before laminating.  Some pages like this are very thin and curl.  These look to be pretty flat.


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Missing Numbers Activity:  I created this printable for one of my second graders.  Students fill in the missing numbers.

Missing Numbers printable


Same & Different Activity: Print 4 pages of the GBM Matching Page from the link below onto cardstock and laminate.  Cut out and place sets of 3 GBM that are the same and 1 that is different in ziplock bags.   Choose GBM that are relatively similar to put in the sets so that students will have to look closely to decide which one is different.  Student will remove the GBM from one bag and decide which one of the 4 is different and return that one to the bag.  The 3 that are the same will remain on top of the bag to be checked by the teacher, TA or peer.

Lacing Cards: We copied 2 gingerbread men onto brown construction paper for each lacing card and glued them together.  Then we holepunched around the edges.  Facial features and buttons were added to each man.  We used red yarn and taped it on the back at the starting point on the gingerbread man.  The other end of the yarn we taped into a "needle" using masking tape.  This helps to get the yarn into the holes without it frizzing every where.  We didn't cut the yarn until we had gone around the whole man to make sure it was long enough.


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Scented Gingerbread Man:  Cut gingerbread shape from sandpaper - rub with a cinnamon stick = a smelly gingerbread man. Recently I've used glitter glue for making eyes, mouth and buttons and added a small bow at the neck.  Put a hole in the top and add yarn and it can be hung on the Christmas tree or wall.  It can be glued onto construction paper or wall paper and cut out  to cover the back of the sandpaper. (submitted anonymously)

Note: This activity could also be used to reinforce the 5 Senses.

Taste: Dab the cinnamon stick to tongue.  (I believe that in long ago days people chewed on small pieces of a cinnamon stick to freshen their breath! :)  )

Smell: Smell the cinnamon as they're rubbing it across the sandpaper.

Touch: They're feeling both the sandpaper and the cinnamon stick.

Hear: They hear the scratching sound as they rub the cinnamon across the sandpaper.

See: They see the finished product.


Cathy’s Gingerbread Man Recipe




¾ cup Crisco shortening (not oil)

1 cup light brown sugar

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

2 ¼ cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger



Mix all items as listed.   Refrigerate overnight.   Form small balls (about 2 ½ inches diameter) to give each child, so that they can shape into a man or woman.   If they don’t use it all for the gingerbread man, they can make small cookies with it.  Add M and M’s for facial features.   Spray Pam on individual pieces of foil that have been “wadded up” and then smoothed out.   Use a Sharpie pen to write the child’s name on it.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  After the gbs cool, use colored decorator icing to put the trim around the gingerbread.  The kids can use small sandwich bags with corner cut out and canned cream cheese frosting, too.


Also, I have the students decorate a gb pattern made out of sandpaper or thin cork.  Each child chooses a different gb man from a story we have read to decorate his/her gb man.  I provide lace, beads, rickrack, ribbon, etc.  Then, these are displayed as the border on a small bb with the caption.  Which GB Am I?   The students write a riddle about their gb man and place it around the question.  Visitors and other staff, try to guess which gb belongs to which riddle.   


Also, we have made a gb ornament out of old spoons.  Each student is asked to bring a spoon but I get extra at $ Tree or Goodwill.  My husband bends the spoon handle back in a loop to the back of the spoon bed.   The students paint the back with brown acrylic paint.  When dry, use beads, pompoms, sequins to make the facial features.  I provide small containers of Tulip white slick paint

for them to add the "icing".  When dry, add a ribbon to top of spoon handle to hang ornament on tree.   We attach the following poem:   

Hope your Christmas is

“SPICED” just right!


Shared by Cathy   Thanks Cathy for sharing! :)


Paperbag Puppet:  Using the pattern that is for decorating the gingerbread man (printable coloring pg), cut the head off the body making sure you have a full circle. After decorating the body glue it onto the bottom of a lunch size brown bag.  Make a line across the circle about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom.  Glue that on the body and under the flap ( Bottom of the bag which is now at the top).  Glue the rest of the head on the flap so that it matches with the bottom of the circle.  This way you can make him "talk".  Sorry I don't have a picture of this.  I have used it for years so I am not sure where I got the pattern and can't give anyone credit. 

Shared by Sharyn, retired K teacher in NW Ohio   Thanks for sharing, Sharyn! :)


GBM/Rudolph Puppet & Poem:  On one side, this puppet is the GBM and on the other he's Rudolph!  Copy the pattern onto brown construction paper and decorate one side as the GBM.  Then flip the pattern over and turn it upside down (where legs are sticking up and head is down) and decorate this side as Rudolph.  (The legs become Rudoph's antlers)  Use holly leaves and a red pom pom for the nose.  Then students use the puppets as they read the poem.  Shared by Billie P/CA  Thanks for sharing, Billie! :)

GBM/Rudolph puppet pattern & poem





last updated 11.24.09



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