The Gingerbread Man Literature Activities

   The following activities are for the book, The Gingerbread Man, as retold by Jim Aylesworth, Scholastic Publications (1998). 



    1. Prereading:   Several activities can be used to introduce the story and build background knowledge.  For this story, I usually start with gingersnap cookies.  We taste, smell, touch, listen etc. to our reactions to the cookie.  Graph results.  In addition, you may start with a journal entry as a writing center.

         Journal Center:  Draw a cookie in the shape of a person.  What would this cookie look like?  Add body parts, clothes, and other decorations that you would like to make this cookie special.  Imagine that this cookie will become a real person.  What would you say to it?  What name would you give it?  These are a few suggestions that I have used successfully with my primary students.  The center needs to have interesting materials to enhance this creative process.

       Prereading - Sharing the reading: Introduce the book showing the cover, author, illustrator, and pictures.  Have the children predict the story elements.

            2.  STORY BOARD:

       *  Make a story board for the book.  Make characters and setting to use as you tell the story.  I usually do this during the second reading. 
*  Another option for a story board is to make color overhead copies of the pictures in the book.  As you retell the story, use the pictures on the overhead.  I later use this as a reading/literacy center.  Students can use the overhead pictures to orally retell the tale, sequence, etc.


              1.  SEQUENCING:

       *Using chart paper, have students dictate the sequence of events.  Write their sequencing responses.

       *  Write the sequence of events on sentence strips.  Mix up the sentence strips as you put them in the pocket chart.  Have the students put the sentences in order.

       *  Copy pictures of the story.  Glue on tag board.  Laminate.  Place at a literacy center.  Students can arrange the pictures in order.  Then, write a sentence about each picture. 

            2.  LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES:

     *  Copy gingerbread men outlines on  brown construction paper.  Write a letter on each one.  Make few gingerbread men outlines on another color of paper.  Write vowels on these.  Students can also have their own set of these "ginger letter men" for phonemic segmenting and blending activities.

      *  Make word families using the same gingerbread men outlines on brown construction paper.  On each one write a word family /an/  /ack/  /ick/  etc. based on the words found in the story.  Make a list of these words (older students can find the words in the text).  Place the gingerbread word family men on the board in a row.  Students can place the words from the story that fit each family under each heading.

      *  Blends - Find words that have /sh/ /gr/ /ch/ (butcher, grab, shoulder)  How many sounds do you hear?  Blend the words.

      *  ed and ing - My ESL students have a difficult time with the sounds of ED at the end of words.  Use examples from the story to reinforce this concept.  These are a few of the sentences from the text.  I write them on sentence strips.  Also, you can change the sentences to be present, past and progressive tenses.

         a.  They dressed him in a fancy suit of clothes.  (what sound of ed do you hear?  is this now or an action that is over?)

         b.   They shaped the little arms.

         c.  They mixed the batter

         d.  They put the gingerbread man in the oven and they waited.

         e.  They opened the oven door, out popped the Gingerbread Man.

     *  Use the same sentences.  Write them on sentence strips.  Leave out the ed verb.  Write the verb on index cards in present, past and progressive tense.  Read the sentences and have students decidc which form of the verb belongs in the space.  I usually laminate the strips and put velcro on the blank part of the sentence and the index card.


                  They were _________________ him in fancy clothes.

                  They _______________________ him in fancy clothes

                   They will ___________________ him in fancy clothes.

       STORY ELEMENTS:  Not all Paper and Pencil stuff...

       *Web story elements on butcher paper.

       * Change the ending - what would happen if the Fox did not trick the Gingerbread Man?

       *  Summarize - Beginning - Middle - End

       *  Make a story necklace.  Use white construction paper divided into thirds.  On each third the student draws about what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story.  Put yarn through a hole punched in the top of the cards.  Put together and tie.  The students can retell the story in their own words.

       * Make story rolls -You need rolls from gift wrap or paper towels.  I use rolls left over from laminating film and Rizo machine film.  They are sturdy and can be used over and over again.  Use butcher paper for each story roll.. enough that the students can draw the events of the story for a retelling.  Attach an end of the butcher paper to each roll.  The student can retell the story as he/she spins the other roll turning the story events in order.  The kids love this activity.



      Using the shape for the 81/2 X 11 gingerbread man drawing, copy this on brown construction paper.  One is the cover of the book.. one is the back.  Cut white paper shaped the same for the inside pages of the book.  Students write their own stories about the gingerbread man.

      Journal response writing is an activity I do each day with all of our reading.  We write about assigned topics as well as those "guided" by the teacher.  Suggestions for topics may include:

            * Why do you think the Gingerbread Man ran and ran?

            *  How did the old lady and old man feel at the end of the story?

            *  What would you do to catch the Gingerbread Man?

            *  You see the Gingerbread Man talking to the Fox.  What would you do?  What would you say?

            *  Do you think the Fox should have eaten the Gingerbread Man?  Why?

            *  What if the last animal he saw when he was running was not a Fox but a dog.  What do you think would happen in the end?


Literacy Centers - Pocket Charts - Charts -

          Chart #1  Gingerbread Man 

                      Read              Along         



Run!  Run!   

As fast as you can!

You can't catch me!

I'm the Gingerbread Man!


    Use the pocket chart for choral reading or as a literacy center.  Change the verb from run, run, to "jump, jump" etc. as fast as you can.. you can't catch me, I'm ______________ (add new name here).  Find the words that begin with ____;  find the words that sound like the /a/ in man; what two words make I'm; what two words make can't.  


Chart#2            Story Elements





            As the story is read with the students, complete the graphic organizer with the components.  At the end of the story, students can retell the story from the chart.  This can also be used for a "read the wall" activity in partners.




   Click on the book cover for a Maisy gingery page


More ideas coming soon...... come back.

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