Run, Run, As Fast As You Can Our book study of The Gingerbread Man

As you have hopefully heard, we have been studying the story of Gingerbread Man for the last week or so. This study began when I played the kids a song called "The Gingerbread Man" by Jack Hartmann. The kids liked the song so much and requested it almost every day after that, that I decided we definitely had to read the story.

I got about 15 different versions of the book from the library. We have been reading a different version everyday and discussing the similarities and differences between each book. These discussions have provided us with great chances to discuss features of literature like characters, settings, and plot.

After reading one version of the story, I made copies of some of the pictures from the story. The kids took turns picking a picture and deciding if that event happened in the beginning, middle, or end of the story.

"That's the wolf eating the Gingerbread Man. That happened at the very end!" Adam said when he looked at his picture.
Emilia's picture was a picture of a snake chasing the Gingerbread Man. She wasn't sure if that happened in the beginning or the middle of the story, so we looked back in the text to see. "Oh! There it is! That's the middle of the story1" she told us.
"The Gingerbread Man met the cat in the middle of the story," Will said as he placed his picture in the middle group.
After all of the pictures were placed, we checked our work by going back through the book and making sure all of the pictures were in the right order.

When we were finished, we noticed that we could use the pictures to retell the story in our own words. Some of our friends took turns coming up to the pictures and telling us the story from memory. This is an important emergent reading skill and it also clearly shows me how well each child comprehended the story.

Another part of this study has been discussing characters. We have learned that characters are the people or animals that the story is about. After reading a few versions of the story, we quickly noticed that there were some characters that were popping up throughout each book. It was also really excited when we came across a new character in our reading! We decided to start a chart so that we could keep track of how many times each character appears in our stories.

Grace puts a sticker on our chart above "farmers".
This is what our chart looks like so far...

One of our workshops this past week was also Gingerbread themed! After we had read 5 or 6 different versions of the book, I asked the kids to tell me about their favorite part of the Gingerbread Man story. It was fun to hear them explain what they liked and why from all different versions of the same tale. They were then asked to draw a picture of the favorite scene they had described.

"I love when the fox is tricking the Gingerbread Man. He says he wants to help him cross the river, but really is a trick and he eats him!" David excitedly told our group as he sketched.

I saw Gingerbread popping up in so many different ways in kids' play this past week. During Free Choice time Ethan made this beautiful picture full of details from our different books.

"Here is my Gingerbread picture!" he shared with the class. "There is a fox and a cow and a horse and there's the Gingerbread Man and his Gingerbread House."

We finished out this week with an exciting activity at meeting, working on collecting and organizing data (and maybe eating some Gingerbread cookies, too!) I gave each child one small gingerbread cookie on a plate. They were immediately curious about what we were going to be doing and, of course, the most popular question heard around the room was, "Mrs Bowling, can we eat it?"

I asked the kids to take one bite of their cookie and then set it back on their plate.

We looked around the carpet at everyone's cookies and started noticing which part of the body each friend decided to bite off. We decided to collect this data in the form of a chart. Everyone took a turn coming up to the easel and signing their name under the part of the body that matched the part they decided to eat first.

"I bit off his head!" Adam told us as he signed his name.
"I ate his head too," Clayton said.

We were interested to learn the most of our friends chose to eat the head of the gingerbread cookie first! Of course, after we were finished using our cookies for educational purposes we enjoyed eating the rest of it!

We have had a lot of fun working with this text. It's so exciting for me to see how excited the kids are to open up a new story everyday. They have really developed in their ability to talk about a book and compare some of its features. We plan to continue working with this story until Winter Break! Check out on our blog in a few days to see where this study takes us this week!

Created By
Randilyn Bowling


Created with images by bethgolz - "gingerbread man cookies"

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