Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Gingerbread Baby

The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett is one of my favorite stories to read to my class in December.  If you like to do a gingerbread unit in December, this lesson always adds a little holiday magic to the month!

What if Matti (from the story Gingerbread Baby) dropped off a tray of gingerbread babies for your students to care for?  Well that's exactly what happened in our class! 

After reading the story, my students were so excited when a cookie sheet arrived in our classroom with gingerbread babies all lined up in pink and blue baby strollers! Also included was a letter from Mattie asking us to care for some extra gingerbread babies that he had made. 

The students got to adopt a gingerbread baby

The first thing we did was talk about what to name our babies.  We worked together in interactive writing to make this chart of gingerbread baby names.  They came up with really cute ideas like Cookie, Sprinkles and Peppermint.

 Each student named their own baby, gave it a birth certificate and they even made it a baby book!

I found some tiny little rattles and included them with the package as well.  The students LOVED this activity.  They cared for their babies for two days.  They even took them home overnight with a special letter to parents.  The letter explained that the students should care for their baby, read it a bedtime story and return it the next day to school. 

After a few days of caring for their babies and writing about it's adventures, the students will got a final letter from Matti thanking them for taking such good care of the little Gingys.....and a box of gingerbread cookies as a treat! 

Want to do this with your kids too?  You can grab your copy of  Adopt A Gingy hereOr if you'd can have your kids Adopt An Elf! Both activities will add some fun and magic to your classroom this holiday season! 

Need some more fun gingerbread ideas? Hop over here to see how we compare and contrast stories, write letters to the gingerbread man and make the cutest gingerbread crafts! 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Gingerbread Man

December is a great month for the story The Gingerbread Man.  I mean, what child doesn't love candy, cookies and sweets??? Now that's how you grab their attention!! So as soon as I got back from our Thanksgiving vacation, I broke out the Gingerbread books and we had a blast.

There are so many versions of The Gingerbread Man, it's hard to pick! Unfortunately there just isn't enough time to read all of them so I chose my favorites.  We like to read one each day and then we make a comparison chart.

I always begin with the traditional tale of The Gingerbread Man and then follow with The Gingerbread Girl and The Gingerbread Baby. I usually like to do some activities with gingerbread houses too but had a hard time finding a Christmas tale about these yummy treats.....until this year!! I took to google and did a search and found the cutest book called Gingerbread Mouse about a little mouse in search of shelter who finds a perfect little gingerbread house to call home. SCORE! 

We've been learning all about story elements and how they help us in our comprehension so we compared each book and talked about characters, setting and plot. 

We wrote letters to the Gingerbread Man / Gingerbread Girl and tried to talk them out of running away! We also made our own gingerbread kids.  Aren't the adorable?? The only pattern that my firsties had was the actual gingerbread.  Then they went to town creating their own gingerbread people.  No patterns needed when they come up with such awesome creations on their own!

After reading Gingerbread Mouse, we made a large gingerbread house and we covered it with adjectives that would describe our house.

Next it was time for the students to make their own gingerbread house with some tasty descriptions! Again, no patterns for these houses and I think they look delish!


And of course, we couldn't do a mini unit on gingerbread without making some REAL  candy houses!! We used milk cartons as our base and frosting as our "glue".  We covered them with graham crackers and candies.  What a fun way to end the week!!

We also incorporated some math into our week with these fun gingerbread games! We practiced our addition, measurement and some graphing.  

Need some more gingerbread inspiration? Check out what we did after reading The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett.  We adopted gingerbread babies of our own! So fun!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Pilgrim Activities

These pilgrim activities are sure to make your lessons on long ago and today engaging and memorable for your students. Are you learning about the first Thanksgiving? It's the perfect time to fit those social studies standards on life long ago into your lessons.

We have been learning all about Thanksgiving and what life was like for the Pilgrims.  We decided to spend one day comparing our life to theirs, so we stepped into the shoes of a Pilgrim and tried out some of their daily chores with these pilgrim activities.  

I set up 8 different stations and the students rotated around to each one, doing a different activity that the Pilgrim children would have done in their daily life.  Take a look at everything we did!

Station 1 - The pilgrims wrote with a feather quill.

At this area, students tried writing with a feather quill.  The quickly found out that using a pencil was much easier!

Station 2 - The pilgrims made quilts.

At this station, the students created their own paper quilt square using pre cut triangles.  They glued them on their square and then we mounted all of our quilt pieces together to make a class friendship quilt!

Station 3 - The pilgrims cooked.

Now it was time for the students to try a little cooking! We worked together to make a pumpkin pie and then the kids did a sequencing page when they were finished. 

Station 4 - The pilgrims planted gardens.

At this station, each child planted a seed.  We will water them and watch them grow in our classroom Pilgrim garden.

Station 5 - The pilgrims hunted.

The students loved this Thanksgiving themed write the room activity.  I hid 9 different animal pictures around the classroom.  They were woodland animals that the pilgrims might have seen when they were out hunting.  The students looked around the room for animals and wrote them down as they spotted them on their hunt!

Station 6 - The pilgrims fished.

What kid can resist a magnetic fishing pole? At this station, the students fished for addition facts.  Each time they caught a fish they had to find the correct answer on their worksheet and color it in. 

Station 7 - The pilgrims built houses.

During our unit on the first Thanksgiving, we learned that the pilgrims had to build their homes.  We used mini pretzel sticks and a cute worksheet to built our own pilgrim houses.

Station 8 - The pilgrims made clothing.

Finally, at our last station, the children practiced sewing using lacing cards of pilgrim dresses and shirts. 

If you're looking for some new activities for Thanksgiving, these stations are sure to keep your students engaged and learning! Hop over here to take a closer look at everything that's included.  

Looking for more First Thanksgiving Ideas? Take a look at the companion resource - The First Thanksgiving Interactive Book.