One of the nicest ways to include every child in your classroom is with thematic teaching. I love the warm smell of gingerbread and making gingerbread houses has been a tradition for many years. Each year when I taught in the regular classroom, we enjoyed decorating candy houses and taking them to the local nursing home for the patients to enjoy. The children loved the “extra” candy supplied too. 😉
Today, I’d like to share the thematic ideas I’ve collected. Some I’ve tried, while others just look like so much fun. I’ve added all the links to the Pinterest board below, so check that out if you’d like to do this theme too.
Gingerbread Book Ideas
Who knew there were so many different Gingerbread themed books? It is so much fun making comparisons across texts especially when you have no trouble finding books on a similar theme. Just look at all these titles!
Of course, my favorite gingerbread themed books are by one of my favorite children’s authors, Jan Brett. The author study bundle I put together with her books is one of my best sellers, and it includes over 400 pages of reading comprehension pages and activities for eleven of her books and an author study lapbook. Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends are part of the bundle, but can also be purchased individually too. These two books are definitely must reads for every elementary students.
Besides Jan Brett’s books, you might try a few of these. The Gingerbread Man story has been written by many authors, and this set includes a sweet reader’s theater script. You could do story comparisons with your students among other literacy skills. Ms. Joanne has included quite a few options for you. Linda Kamp has this freebie available too for book comparisons and a story map.
Well, Pinterest is most definitely filled with Gingerbread craft options, and here are a few of my favorites. It’s a great time to make Gingerbread houses and Gingerbread ornaments with your kids, but we all love a great craftivity too. These simple ideas can be added to a writing prompt of your choice and wa-la…awesome display! Certainly, using the books above as a mentor text could lead to fantastic stories from your students, and you can easily work in a fun art project to accompany your writing pieces.
Paper Bag Activities
Paperbags can be used for lots of Gingerbread crafts. You can make both the Gingerbread boy and his house…maybe even with the same bag if you’re careful. Click the images to see how they’re made.
One more cute project before I go…
I love this adorable idea, and unfortunately, it would not work in my classroom of fourth and fifth grades. However, do you think preschool and kinders would enjoy it?? I think they’d have a great time making it too. Add in some cozy pillows and baskets of books, and you have the best reading spot in the room. Too fun!
Before I sign of, I thought I’d share a freebie of my own with you. This little poem can be used during your gingerbread week to work on fluency. When I use my poem of the week sets, we practice through repeated reading. With each reading, we work on marking phrases, highlighter hunts for sightwords, use them with word hunts to reinforce phonics elements, work on comprehension of the poem, and visualizing. I hope your students enjoy it. To download the resource, subscribe below.
Do you have a few favorite Gingerbread themed activities you enjoy? Please share them in the comments, and if you’re interested in the unit shared, you can see it below.