Gingerbread Celebration

Wooden gingerbread house craft

We finished our gingerbread literacy unit today with a fun celebration. Before I get to the activities from today, I want to share a little bit more about the gingerbread unit. We began by learning about the history of gingerbread and then moved into reading more than a dozen versions of the folktale The Gingerbread Man. These versions included The Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Boy, The Gingerbread Pirate, The Runaway Latkes, The  Runaway Rice Cake, The Runaway Dreidel, Stop that Pickle!, The Gingerbread Baby, The Gingerbread Cowboy, and MORE!! We compared the characters, setting, and plot of these stories. Students also used their five senses to explore a gingerbread cookie. Throughout the unit, we completed two experiments. First, we tried to figure out why the gingerbread cookie would rely on the fox to cross the river. We put a gingerbread cookie in water and watched what happened. It quickly became clear that the poor cookie would disintegrate!  Next, we each made a hypothesis on which liquid would dissolve the gingerbread cookie the fastest. Here is a time-lapse of that experiment:

The liquids we used (going clockwise from the top) were water, milk, apple juice, and rootbeer soda.

Back to today’s celebration! For Friday Fun, there were three activities: making a gingerbread necklace, building 3D shapes using gumdrops and toothpicks, and designing and painting a wooden gingerbread house.

A student beads a gingerbread necklace.

Students use gumdrops and toothpicks to create 3D shapes.

They used their Gingerbread Notebooks to record how many gumdrops and toothpicks they used for each shape.

Finally, students designed and painted wooden gingerbread houses. I found this project a few weeks ago and was so excited to bring it into the classroom. It took some prep, and thankfully, I have a handy husband. He cut different shapes and sizes of wood. I then sanded each one to get rid of any splinters or sharp edges.

Next, I stained each piece of wood with a rich brown wood stain.

My six-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter, and I each created a prototype.

During our celebration, students first used paper and pencil to design.

Students then sketched their designs on the wood using a pencil.

Pencil sketch

Next, students used a paint pen to trace over their pencil lines.

Finally, they painted their roofs white.

I just LOVE how these turned out!

Next year, this will be one of the first projects we do in December so that we can have them up during our unit!