We have a tradition at our school for our new kindergarten friends! To help them get to know their school campus we go on a hunt for the Gingerbread Man.... or Gingerbread Girl! I know, I know, most people wait until December, but I have to say, it is a fun way to start our school year! We are also doing a color unit in September and so we introduce The Gingerbread Man on "brown" day.
We spend a week reading many versions of the famous Gingerbread Story. We compare these different versions: What characters change? How does the ending change? We compare and contrast the adventures and experiences in each one:
Add there's even more....
And there's even more... but you get the idea!
During the week we do other activities:
*We label a gingerbread man together.
Some years I have the kiddos label their own gingerbread man, too. But this year we just did the one together. We refer to this chart though when graphing (see below) and writing in our journals.
* Using gingerbread cookies we make a graph of which part of the cookie you bite first. On the count of three we all take one big bite! What did each child bite first? The head? The leg? The arm?
* We write a story telling our own adventure of the Gingerbread Man.
*We learn "The Gingerbread Man Finds Shapes" song by Frog Street Press-This song is on the Color CD. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color songs on here and the Gingerbread Shapes Song is just one of the added non-color bonus songs! Get your own Color CD Here!
And finally at the end of this week we bake a gingerbread man! Note to self: try not to do this on the same day as a space shuttle is flying over your school!
She is ready for the oven! We walk as a class to put her in..... but when we come back later, she is gone!!! Luckily she has left us a note!
The note reads, "Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man! Look for me in the custodian's office!" (As the kids voted to make our friend a girl I was thinking... oh no, the poem says "man"... but they didn't seem to mind. This is one of the first years I have more girls than boys in class, hence the girl vote.)
As we get to the custodian's office we find another note and so on. We stop in the library, health tech office and front office before finding our way to the principal's office. The kids LOVE this and they are learning about important places at school.
As we enter the principal's office she turns the lights out and using flashlights we search all around until someone spots "her" on the top shelf. Then our principal chats with them about all the reasons they may come visit her office in the future. Hopefully to celebrate a great piece of school work :)
The kids are wearing their special Gingerbread Man hats! You may also notice the gingerbread friend has green eyes and they were yellow when we put them in the oven! Oh no - that is my mistake! During the baking process the "goodies" always sink down and I replace them, but made this key error. Most of them won't remember, but of course the little one who chose the eye color WILL remember! The same gingerbread magic that allows her to run around our school also helps to change her eye color.... of course!