Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Gingerbread Boy

I think my young audience was a bit dismayed and disturbed today when I got to the end of The Gingerbread Boy and they found out that the gingerbread boy was snapped up and gulped down by the sly fox. They identified with the runaway, and were surprised when they found out his career was over. But that's the way the story goes. "Gingerbread boys are made to be eaten!"

I used the Paul Galdone version, but there are several other good versions to choose from.


Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock

Richard Egielski

Eric Kimmel and Megan Lloyd

For the flannelboard I made five little gingerbread men figures. Here's the rhyme we used:

Five little gingerbread men, sitting on a tray.
One jumped up and ran away.
"Run, run, run, fast as you can!
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

 Four little gingerbread men . . .  etc.

I also read them Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? by Karen Beaumont and Eugene Yelchin. This was a light-hearted selection with plenty of repetition and a surprise at the end (a pleasant one this time.) Mama Kangaroo finds her bowl of cookie dough empty and quizzes a variety of other animals: "Eeny Meeny Miney moe, Who ate all the cookie dough?" The jaunty rhyme will remind you of the chant, "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?" and the kids will have fun trying to figure out who ate the cookie dough.
For the craft we made gingerbread men paper dolls, which gave the children a good chance to practice their scissor skills. You will need:
brown paper lunch bags
child scissors
crayons or markers
any other decorations you care to add
Cut a strip across the bag about 6 inches high, and then cut up the side to make a paper strip 16 and a half inches long. Accordion fold this into five sections, each about 3 and a half inches wide. The folds will follow the folds already in the bag.
Trace an outline of the gingerbread man on the top fold. I didn't cut this out, since I wanted the children to do that. Some of them did very well,and some needed help. Remind them not to cut around the hands and feet, or else the paper dolls won't be connected.
Once the g-men are cut out, the children can decorate them with crayon eyes, smiles, buttons and anything else they like. I also happened to have some little foam candy shapes on hand, so I let the kids glue those on too. Since I had very few children in attendance today (the day after Christmas), I didn't have to limit the number of candy pieces each used.