I saw an article in our local newspaper about a classroom that read the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett and used this as a springboard for a writing activity. One particular gingerbread baby had an amazing adventure in Iraq with an uncle who was serving over there.
I love the idea of incorporating several subjects. I think children make better connections with the material that is being studied. Not only are reading and language arts incorporated in this activity, but art, geography, and math too. This idea can be done with any number of books and is not limited to only “people” so I have created a list of some books that I think will help you with this project if you decide to use a different character. Many of the books listed below are in a series, which is always a plus when encouraging reading 🙂
Ideas for Gingerbread Baby Writing Project:
Read the book either as a read aloud or assign it to the student.
Have your student(s) create their own gingerbread baby from the book that can be sent in the mail. You can either create a construction paper baby or a felt gingerbread man.
Write directions about what you would like the recipient to do. For instance, take pictures of places the Gingerbread Baby went, what did he see/do, send pictures of his adventures to us, etc. Here is a decorative Gingerbread Baby Writing Border for you to use.
Mail your character and letter to the person. If you want, you can send several Gingerbread Babies out on adventures.
Upon the arrival of your return letter (You can have pictures sent via internet to save money and time if you like.)
Look at the pictures of Gingerbread Baby and read about his adventures.
Write a follow-up story about the adventures Gingerbread Baby had while visiting. You can use the same Gingerbread Baby Writing Border as before.
Look at a map to see where Gingerbread Baby went. Calculate the distance from your house to the location (and back if you like).
Take a picture of Gingerbread Baby and his return to the daily routine along with a thank you to the original recipient.
Send Gingerbread Baby on another adventure!
Ideas for Additional Characters
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw
The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole (Your characters can be one of the students or a seed.)
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (great fall book!)
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (for older students)
I was going to write a separate blog post about doing a Gingerbread Man unit, but I found this amazing blog that has so many activities that you it will take you a month to go through all them and every idea (and more) that I thought of were here for you! I think you will love this website. It is great for preschool through primary aged students. click here