Beacon Lesson Plan Library
The Gingerbread Journey
Bay District Schools
This beginning-of-the-school-year activity, using the fairy tale character the Gingerbread Man, is an interactive way for students to become familiar with different people and buildings that will be a part of their everyday lives at school.
The student uses a variety of strategies to comprehend text (for example, retelling stories in correct sequence, recalling details, rereading).
The student listens for specific information in stories (including but not limited to sequence, story details).
-Song: Hartman, Jack. “Gingerbread Man.” 2001 (CD)
-Book: Schmidt, Karen. [The Gingerbread Man]. New York: Scholastic Trade, 1986.
-Step Books, one per child (See Associated File)
-Copy of Office, Library, Nurse and Lunchroom strips, one per child (See Associated File)
-Copy of Gingerbread Journey Clues, for teacher use (See Associated File)
-Four sentence strips with Gingerbread Journey Clues written on them
-Four index cards with the words Office, Library, Nurse and Lunchroom
-Gingerbread Man cookies (Little Debbie, Pepperidge Farm or homemade)
-Copy of Gingerbread Journey Checklist, for teacher use (See Associated File)
1. Gather materials for the activity.
2. Purchase or make Gingerbread Man cookies.
3. Make copies of Office, Library, Nurse and Lunchroom strips, one per child. (See Associated File)
4. Cut apart the Gingerbread Journey Clues and place in designated areas. (See Associated File)
5. Prepare the four sentence strips with the Gingerbread Journey Clues written on them and the four index cards with the names of the places visited.
6. Write on chart paper the repetitive chant from the book: Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man.
7. Make enough step books for each child. Write the title on each step book, [The Gingerbread Journey]. (See Associated File for directions and materials needed for step books.)
8. Let the office, library, lunchroom and nurse know that you are planning a visit.
9. Write the Gingerbread Journey Checklist (See Associated File) on chart paper.
1. During the first week of school, ask the children to come and join you in your reading area.
2. Show the children the book, [The Gingerbread Man].
3. Ask the boys and girls if they have ever heard this story. Allow a few minutes for some responses.
4. Read the book aloud to the boys and girls.
5. Take a few minutes to discuss what happened in the story.
6. Show the boys and girls the chart with the words: Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.
7. Ask the boys and girls if they remember hearing this chant in the story. Open the book and show them an example of where the chant was in the story.
8. Read the chart again to the boys and girls and ask them to say this chant with you during your second reading of [The Gingerbread Man].
9. Read [The Gingerbread Man] again.
10. Tell the boys and girls that you have a song about [The Gingerbread Man]. Ask the boys and girls to listen to the song with you and sing the part they know: Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man. Point to the words on the chart as the children sing.
11. Explain to the boys and girls that you have gingerbread cookies for them to share. Walk over to a table where the cookies are supposed to be and act very surprised that the cookies are not there. Say something like, “They have disappeared, oh no! We need to find them!!”
12. In the place where the cookies should have been is clue #1. Read the clue to the children. Ask them what they think the clue is telling them to do. (Hopefully, they will tell you to go where the clue says to go. If not, read the clue again and ask them where do they think the clue is telling them to go.) This is where your tour of the school begins.
13. Line up the children and walk them to the office (clue #1). On the way to the office, discuss with the children where you are going and some reasons why someone might be going there.
14. When you get to the office, take the time to tell the children who the different people are who work in the office and their names. (If you have talked with the office staff ahead of time, a few of them might be able to introduce themselves at this time. If not, you do the introductions.)
15. While you are in the office, you find clue #2. Read the clue to the boys and girls and ask them where they think the clue is telling them to go. (The library)
16. Walk the boys and girls to the library and remind them that this is a very quiet place where we go to check out books. When you arrive at the library, hopefully you have talked with your Librarian ahead of time and he/she has time to stop and talk to the boys and girls for a minute about the library. If not, you introduce the library to the children.
17. While in the library, you find clue #3. Read the clue to the boys and girls and ask them where they think this clue is telling them to go. (The Nurse)
18. On the way to the Nurse’s office, remind the boys and girls that they are still looking for The Gingerbread Men that ran away. Say, “Where, oh where, could they be?”
19. When you arrive at the Nurse’s office, allow the Nurse a few minutes to talk about the Health Room or you do the introductions. This is where you will find clue #4. Read the clue to the boys and girls and ask them to tell you where this clue is telling them to go. (The Lunchroom)
20. Walk the boys and girls to the lunchroom and practice walking through the lunch line and practice sitting at their new lunch table. Introduce the lunchroom staff and discuss lunchroom rules. When the children sit down at their new lunch table, they find the missing Gingerbread Men!!! Hooray!! (You can ask someone to put the Gingerbread Men out at your lunch table or you can leave them on a tray and take them back to the classroom with you. Either way works great.)
21. After the boys and girls have enjoyed their Gingerbread Men, ask them to sit on the carpet with you. Take out the four sentence strips with the clues written on them and the index cards with the names of the places visited.
22. Ask the boys and girls what place they visited first. (The office) Show them the index card with that word written. Then read the clue on the sentence strip that matches that word. Ask the boys and girls if the clue matches the word. (Yes) Place the clue and the word together in the first spot in the pocket chart. Continue with the remainder of clues.
23. Now that all four clues are in the pocket chart in the correct order, explain to the boys and girls that they are going to make a step book about their Gingerbread Journey. Show the boys and girls a step book. The book already has the title written on it. Tell the boys and girls that they first need to put their names on their books. Show the boys and girls the paper with the words Office, Library, Nurse and Lunchroom. Tell the boys and girls they are going to cut and then glue these words in the order that they visited them today. Return to the pocket chart and review where they went first, second, third and fourth. Remove strips and cards from pocket chart.
24. Ask the boys and girls to return to their seats. Pass out step books, word slips, glue and scissors. Instruct boys and girls to cut the words out and glue them in the correct sequence. After they glue the words in the correct place, ask them to draw a picture to match. Before they begin working independently, go over the Gingerbread Journey Checklist criteria. (See Associated File)
25. Ask the children to begin working on their individual books. Walk around and assist children.
26. If time permits, children can share their books with a partner while you assist any children who seem to be having difficulty.
Evidence: Use the completed step book to formatively assess the student’s ability to retell and put into correct sequence the different places visited during the Gingerbread Journey.
Criteria: The Gingerbread Journey Checklist (See Associated File) includes criteria ranging from excellent to unsatisfactory.
Gingerbread Journey Checklist (for kids):
(Excellent!!!) You have all four places we visited in the right order with a picture.
(Super!!) You have three places we visited in the right order with a picture.
(Keeping Trying) You have two places we visited in the right order with a picture.
(Oops?) You have one place we visited in the right order with a picture.
1. Take pictures of the office, library, nurse, and lunchroom with a digital camera. Insert these pictures on the clues and student copies of words.
2. Read the book [The Gingerbread Boy] by Scott Cook, New York: A. A. Knopf, 1996.
3. Place the Book and CD [The Gingerbread Man], Graham Pacy, Imaden, Inc. at the Listening Center.
4. Tell the Gingerbread Man story using a flannel board and Gingerbread Man flannel figures.
5. Make Gingerbread Men with your students.