Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Gingerbread Man: Project Style

In our class we had been doing a study during Writer's Workshop about an old story called "The Gingerbread Man."  We read many different versions of this story and kept track of the similarities and differences between the retellings.  We recorded the Characters, Settings, Problems and Solutions to each story.  It didn't take long for the kids to want to retell their own versions of The Gingerbread Man.  They learned that the characters they chose had to match the setting of the story, they had to have a beginning, middle and ending to their story, and they had to include a problem and a solution.  These smart cookies did such a great job!  We had Gingerbread Monkeys running from jungle animals, Gingerbread Superhero's running away from Villeins, and many more creative retellings. 

While we were studying this story, we had a friend visit.  His name was Gingy.  Of course, our special friend Gingy ran away (as all Gingerbread Men do).  As usual, when we have a problem, we brainstorm ways to solve it and a project is born!  The kids came up with the idea of creating posters and posting them all over the school. We studied different posters and had a discussion about what a good poster would look like and what information needed to be included in the posters.   Their amazing writing skills were used to make posters describing Gingy and asking anyone who saw him to please send him our way!  Some even added directions to our room!  (I wish I had thought to take pictures)

Another idea they came up with was to create traps to catch Gingy.  Collaboration and problem solving skills were used as they worked in groups of 6 to first come up with a plan, then to create a trap that would catch Gingy!  They made a list of materials needed, gathered the materials and went to work.  The cooperation that took place was amazing!  I loved watching how well they problem solved and worked together!  They had very creative ideas!  Some traps had ramps, some had trap doors, some had glue for him to get stuck in and they all used candy as bait!

This one has a lot of elements to it!
He plans on Gingy climbing to get the marshmellows.
Adding finishing touches

Testing out a snare to see if it works.

As they were finishing their traps, they came up with the idea of making signs to put on their traps to lure Gingy in.  
Free Candy
Free Candy you get to have today

Candy Store
Before they set their traps, they used speaking and listening skills to present their traps to the rest of the class and show how their traps worked.

The traps were set and of coarse, Gingy could not resist!  

The kids do not want him to go home with Santa!  Maybe when we come back, they can persuade him to stay!  We will see!  Happy Holidays everybody!  We will see the kids back on Jan. 7th!  


  1. Howdy! I just spent about two hours reading your blog and I love all of the child led work you are doing. I teach threes in a literature based school and am working on ways to arrange and change our room to engage them in loose part learning. Right now all they want to do is trains. Sigh. Lucky for them we have two weeks of transportation! Thank you for sharing!


    1. Thank you!!! It's so nice to know you enjoyed what you read! Have a great year teaching those precious 3 year olds!

  2. Hi Darla! I LOVE all of your Gingy activities! I'm in the process of putting together a Gingerbread PBL unit for the upcoming weeks and your blog is helping a ton!! So, how exactly did you go about researching Missing Posters? Did you use a Kid Safe search engine? Did you search Missing Pets?? Thank You!

    1. Hi Elizabeth!
      I am probably way to late in answering this! I am so sorry! We do investigate lost pet posters before we created our own. I blogged about our Gingy adventure last week! You will have to check it out!
      Darla Myers