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Gingerbread Man Theme Ideas


Run, Run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man! - famous last words by an arrogant cookie!

The Gingerbread man is a fun and motivating theme with many possible related learning activities.There are many versions of this famous fairy tale. Students may compare the different versions and even write a completely new ending. This is a great theme for the beginning of the year for getting to know you or to use during the Christmas Holidays.


Book Study:

Every year, we focus a week on a book study of the Gingerbread Man Fairy Tale. All week, we make gingerbread cokies, decorate gingerbread houses, make paper gingerbread men, gingerbread ornaments, etc. We read and compare various versions of the story. We stop and write alternate ending to the story. We retell and act out the story using props.



In the beginning of the week, I introduce the theme with my beautiful, laminated, paper gingerbread man. I hang him up on his decorated bulletin board. I tell the students how he loves to hear his favorite story... except the ending. I take him down for the story, and pin him back up after the story. The students use descriptive prepositions to tell me where to place him on the bulletin board display. ("Above" the tree, "behind" the snowman, "under" the present...)  Every morning when the children arrive, the gingerbread man has moved to a different spot on the bulleting board and the children tell me where he had moved from and to (teaching concepts of time, recalling, prepositions, etc).


School Tour

On Friday, the children arrive and comment on the Gingerbread man's location.

But just before storytime, while the students are at P.E., the Gingerbread Man is removed from the bulletin board and is replaced by a note... "Run Run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man!" When the kids return, I look surprised that the Gingerbread Man is gone! It is time for the hunt around the school for the gingerbread man.

Because my class consists of 18 students, we "come up with the idea" to split in to two groups to search around the school for the gingerbread man. I coincidently have walkie talkies (but cell phones work well also) to coordinate the timing of the 2 groups as they look around the school for the Gingerbread Man. This is of course prearranged and scripted. We ask the principal, the nurse, the cafeteria, our reading buddies, the media center, etc. The objective involves asking questions ("Have you seen the Gingerbread Man?"), listening to the answer, and following the clues. The two groups meet up at the playground as they continue to search for the Gingerbread man. (While out looking, a designated person places the paper Gingerbread man on the playground along with a plate of individually wrapped Little Debbie Gingerbread Man Cookies.) Finally, the students arrive at the playground and discover the Gingerbread Man and cookies.


Recalling Experience

After this culminating experience, the students write a class story on large chart paper recalling where they looked for the Gingerbread Man. I also take pictures during the hunt, and put together a class book of the experience. We create a map of the school and sequence the areas where the gingerbread man had gone (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc).


Rhymes and Songs

During the week we sing or say our favorite Gingerbread Man Songs and Rhymes. Here are some of our favorites:

5 Litttle Gingerbread Men


Homemade Gingerbread Man


Gingerbread Man song by Jack Hartmann



Gingerbread Man Activities

Gingerbread Man Coloring Sheets


Gingerbread Man Lacing Cards


Number Matching Cards


Making Gingerbread Cookies....