This post is a little late . . . mostly due to me forgetting to take pictures as the kiddos made the book! As I previously mentioned, Mary Poppins and I had fun with a Gingerbread Man mini theme a couple of weeks ago. OK, on to the book-making!
Learning While Making Books with Kids
Making books with young children has many benefits (listed below are just a few):
It involves the kids in the process, which makes the outcome more meaningful for them. If they make the book, they’re more likely to want to read (and reread) the book.
- It shows the children that the pictures match the words. This helps them learn about context cues when they are reading.
- Book-making usually involves simple, predictable text. This helps the kiddos predict what’s coming next. It’s also a great way to incorporate sight words into reading and writing.
- The text involved in book-making helps reinforce that we read left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
- Making books is fun, and literacy should be fun!
Materials for the Gingerbread Book
You will need a few items before you can get started creating this book with your students. Check out the list below to make sure you have everything you need. If you are missing something on the list, just improvise and use a similar material as a substitute.
Here’s what you need (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Construction paper
- White paper
- Wax paper
- Tempera paint
- Popsicle sticks
- Hot glue and hot glue gun
- Paint sponges
How to Create the Gingerbread Book
For the front page of the book, I cut out an “oven door” from black construction paper. I taped a piece of wax paper to the inside of the black paper (to act as the “glass” of the oven door). I put glue just along the bottom of the “oven” and glued it to another piece of construction paper. This way, the children can open the oven door and let the gingerbread man jump out! The title (The Gingerbread Man) was glued to the bottom of the oven door.
Now, I did most of the prep for this, but the kiddos could have been more involved in the process (by cutting, taping, and gluing). We had multiple snow days during the time planned for making this book, so I did more of the prep work to make the process faster.
Using a template we had in the room, I cut out gingerbread people for the students. Of course, as soon as I started doing this, random children came up wanting to know what was going on! I set out sequins, glue, and pompoms and let the kiddos decorate how they saw fit. The gingerbread people were hot glued to popsicle sticks, making them into pointers the kids can use when reading the books.
The words for this page were “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the gingerbread man! For the illustrations, the students made little brown footprints on the page. I had the kiddos make a fist, then painted the side of their hands (where the pinky is) with brown paint. The kids stamped their hands a few time onto the paper. Afterwards, they put paint on their pointer fingers and used their pointer fingers to add toes to the gingerbread feet.
The second page said “The gingerbread man ran over a hill.” The children used rectangular sponges to paint hills with green paint.
The words for this page were “The gingerbread man ran up a tree.” I gave the children bits of brown construction paper, scissors, and glue. They cut out tree trunks and glued the trunks to the page. They used scissors to clip small squares from strips of green construction paper. The green paper squares were the leaves on the tree.
“The gingerbread man ran into a barn.” The children cut squares from red construction paper and used black markers/pencils to draw a barn door and barn windows. We put a line of glue on just the left side of the barn. This way, the children can let the gingerbread man run into the barn when rereading the story. If you have access to a die-cut machine, you could always use die-cut barns.
“The gingerbread man ran by a lake.” The children cut out their lakes from blue construction paper.
The Last Page
“Snip! Snap!” In most of the gingerbread man stories, the gingerbread man runs across the fox near the lake. The fox usually eats the gingerbread man at this point! We folded a piece of red/orange paper in half and cut a triangle out of it (with the crease at the top of the triangle). The children then added teeth, eyes, and a nose to their fox.
Please keep in mind that you can make books with your own children and students in any way you’d like. I love incorporating arts and crafts with literacy, as it makes activities that are much more interactive with the kiddos. Let me know what you’ve done when making books with your children. I’d love to hear about it!
Preschool Gingerbread Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the learning fun with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, book suggestions, and activity explanations. We’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set also includes the following related printables:
- Character Puppets (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread Color Sorting Mats and Object Cards
- Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching Colors (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread House Measurement and Size Sorting Cards
- Gingerbread Man Number Cards (in color and b/w)
- Ten-Frame Mats 1-10 (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread Man Pattern Prompt Task Cards
- Gingerbread Man Rhyming Sort
- Ending Sound Matching Puzzles
- Roll and Graph Game
- Gingerbread Man Water Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
- Cookie Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
- Decorate a Gingerbread House Counting Mats for Numbers 1-10 and one blank version in color and b/w
- Gingerbread Five Senses Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
Get your lesson plans here:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers