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Grade: Elementary
Subject: 4 Blocks

#1416. gingerbread man guided reading lessons, focused writing

4 Blocks, level: Elementary
Posted Sat Nov 27 12:46:12 PST 1999 by deb ().

Gingerbread Unit

Non traditional tales:

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales
Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith 0-590-46627-5

The Gingerbread Boy Richard Egielski 0-060-26030-0

Gingerbread Baby Jan Brett 0-399-23444-6

Traditional Tales

The Gingerbread Man Barbara McClintock 0-439-05772-8

The Gingerbread Man Eric Kimmel 0-823-41137-0

The Gingerbread Man Eric Suben 1-562-93555-0

The Gingerbread Man Schmidt 0-590-08794-0


Begin a chart with these headings:

Who makes the gingerbread boy?
What kind of decorations does the gingerbread boy have?
______ eyes
______ mouth
______ buttons
Who does he run away from?
"no-no" saying
"run-run" saying
Who ate the gingerbread boy?

Read a traditional Gingerbread Boy story. Fill in the information under the headings. I read the first stories aloud. I pick my story based on what's available in single copies from the library or my personal copies. I don't read the version that I have multiple copies of to the students. I save that one for tomorrow.

Then I read another traditional Gingerbread Boy Story that has different information under some of the headings. Some information is the same. After reading the second version, we fill in more information under the headings. Sometimes, depending on the class, I stop and fill in under the headings as they find the information. Sometimes I put a sticky note if a child finds something. I usually try and read straight through so the kids who aren't familiar with the story get the flow of the story.

On Day one I have the kids help retell the gingerbread story. I write it on sentence strips and then give the sentence strips to partners to glue onto a big book (12 x 18 construction paper works well) paper and draw and illustrate a picture that goes with their sentence strip. I then put the book together. It becomes one of the favorite ssr books.


I read the headings of the chart to the class. Then I read the New York Gingerbread Boy version to the class (The Gingerbread Boy written by Richard Egielski ISBN: 0- 060-26030-0). Then the class helps fill in the chart discussing things that are different between the versions.

Then I give them all a gingerbread book for the partners to read. I have 15 copies so my class can share the gingerbread books in partners. I give them book marks with each heading labeled on it so they can put the bookmark where they find the answer to our headings. The purpose for reading is to find the differences between our newest book and what we've already learned. After the kids read, we gather together and share answers reading the text, finding where we found the answers.


I read the headings again. Then I read The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales written by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith (ISBN: 0-590-46627-5). I don't read the whole book, just "The Stinky Cheese Man" tale. I'll read the rest of the book on other days. We add to the chart.

Then I give the kids another traditional gingerbread man tale that I have multiple copies of. This time they read alone or partners or small group depending on how many copies of the book I have. The kids then have a paper copy of the headings:

Who makes the gingerbread boy?
What kind of decorations does the gingerbread boy have?
______ eyes
______ mouth
______ buttons
Who does he run away from?
"no-no" saying
"run-run" saying
Who ate the gingerbread boy?

They read the book, fill in their paper. We gather together and share after we read.

On day three I also start a FOCUSED WRITING assignment. The kids get a blank sheet of the headings and we begin writing our own versions of the gingerbread boy story. The first day, the kids pick the information that will fit under the headings.

Who makes the gingerbread boy?
I say, "Decide who will make your gingerbread boy. The old woman or wife did in these two books. The boy did in Gingerbread Baby. The lonely couple without children did in this book. Who will in your story? Write it down next to the question. They JUST write who NOT the details or a sentence.

What kind of decorations does the gingerbread boy have?
______ eyes
______ mouth
______ buttons

I read the versions we've read. Some have raisin eyes, some nuts, some icing. What kinds of things could the eyes be made out of? Write down on the line what you want to have your gingerbread eyes made out of. Repeat for mouth and buttons. I also encourage the kids to branch out and get creative. The stories are best if you guide them but don't be a dictator.

Who does he run away from?

I only let them pick THREE characters or the story gets too long and the kids get bored writing it AND I get bored listening to them.

THEN for the writing version you have to have the characters BE somewhere so at this point you read a version and show that the gingerbread boy ran from
the butcher in front of his shop
black and white cow down the path
muddy old sow in the pigsty
dog wagging his tail by the doghouse


ALSO the writing version has the character's doing something. Notice my examples above. The man is a butcher sweeping in front of his store. It depends on how guided you want to be AND what grade level. I do this with 2nd graders. They can handle quite a bit of details if I guide them through each step.

"no-no" saying
"run-run" saying

I read the versions then they write what they will say when they get to that point.


On day 4 I begin practicing for the gingerbread play. The kids are divided into three groups of 6-8 kids each. Each group performs the play. The kids decide if they want to do it as a puppet show, as a play, as a reader's theatre. The kids practice with their groups for a couple of days during guided reading time. I have my class perform the plays for parents instead of the Christmas party.

FOCUSED WRITING on day four. The kids begin writing their own versions using the graphic organizer from yesterday. I give them blank books to write their story in. Sometimes I type their stories. It depends on numbers and what else is going on in the building.

The kids do the Gingerbread Glyph.
They make a graph. The kids take one bite from a gingerbread man cookie. Then graph which part they ate first: head, arm, leg.

I give them a gingerbread man drawn on paper. They measure the perimeter and area of the gingerbread man with red hots, marshmallows, raisins, and jellybeans.

Mapping skills I have the kids draw a map (poster size) of their gingerbread boy story. They can move a little gingerbread man along their map and retell their own version.