You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

Happy New Year 2011!!

How will you teach the New Year with your kiddos? I like to…

1.Read a book about the new year.
2. Make New Year’s Hats (I wrote this for
3. Show off my new calendar.
3. Sing “Macarena Months” by Dr. Jean Feldman (words below)
If you have other ideas you like to do, send them my way, and I can post them!
                                                       Macarena Months 
                                                     (Dance the Macarena as you sing.

                                      January, February,
                                      March, April,
                                      May, June,
                                      July, August,
                                     September, October,
                                     November, December,
                                     Then you turn around.

Product DetailsBook Review and activity:  The Gingerbread Cowboy
By Janet Squires, Scholastic 2006

This is the 4th book in my Gingerbread Man book review series. “Giddyup, giddyup as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.” These are the words of the Gingerbread Cowboy who comes to life because a rancher’s wife is tired of making biscuits.

Sporting a cowboy hat, vest, spurs, and boots this Gingerbread Cowboy runs away from lots of desert animals such as a horned lizard, a roadrunner, javelinas, and long-horned cattle. Cowboys try to lasso the wild Gingerbread until he meets his match with a coyote.

Children will love seeing the Gingerbread Man in a new environment–the desert. Discuss how the desert is different from where you live. If you live in the desert, discuss what animals the students have seen. Double-page illustrations give an informative view of desert life.

1. The Gingerbread Cowboy would make a wonderful play. Have students draw big pictures of the desert animals in the book. Grab a cowboy hat and boots and act the story out. Great for sequencing and retelling the story.

2. Desert animals:  Bring in library books of desert animals. What other desert animals could the Gingerbread Cowboy run from? Write a class story of the Gingerbread Cowboy using new animals.

3. Make your own Gingerbread Cowboy out of construction paper. Cut out a hat, vest, spurs, and boots and glue on.

Product DetailsBook Review & activities:  The Gingerbread Pirates
by Kristin Kladstrup, Candlewick 2009

This is the 3rd Gingerbread book review in my Gingerbread Man series reviews. My son and I discovered this book last year, and Isaac, being a pirate lover, checked this book out twice.  However, besides the title, this book is nothing like the original tale.

Jim bakes gingerbread pirate cookies for Santa, including Captain Cookie with a toothpick for a peg leg. Not wanting Captain Cookie to be eaten, Jim leaves him by his bed. While he sleeps, Captain Cookie sets out on an adventure to round up the pirates from the cannibal Santa. Jim is delighted Christmas morning to find under the tree a magnificent pirate ship complete with a pirate crew.

The beautifully painted illustrations capture the attention of all young pirates. This is a wonderful Christmas book which boys, especially, will enjoy.

1. Make gingerbread playdough or cookie dough. Then have your child craft a pirate ship and a gingerbread pirate.
2. Make finger puppets or cut outs of Jim, Santa, Captain Cookie, and some pirates. Retell the story using these props.
3. Study the illustrations/paintings in the story. Paint your own picture of the gingerbread pirate. What was your favorite scene?
4. Make patterns. Draw a gingerbread pirate.  Make AB (2 colors) or ABC (3 colors)patterns on their clothing like in the book.

Product DetailsBook Review:  Gingerbread Man Superhero!
By Dotti Enderle, Pelican Press 2009

Here’s the 2nd book of my Gingerbread Man book reviews and activities series for December.

Watch out for this little guy. He has “Flour Power!” The little old woman put a prune on her gingerbread man to give to her grumpy husband. As he escaped out of the oven, he grabbed a dishtowel for a cape and flew off to save the world. At the bakery he helped some brownies who were being held hostage by a macaroon. The Gingerbread Man defended himself against flying poppy seeds and stampeding animal crackers. Disgusted by the sight of the prune, the macaroon lost the battle by landing into… Hurrahs were heard by Ladyfingers and other sweet fans of the Gingerbread Man Superhero!

Children will like this unique version of the Gingerbread Man. It’s illustrated in a comic-like style with plenty of action. Here are some activities you could do with this book:

1. Cut out a gingerbread man on brown construction paper. Have your child or students decorate it using markers and crayons. Buy some real prunes and glue onto the stomach. Using fabric, tie or glue a small cape around him.

2. Have a taste test with items from the story:  prunes, macaroons, animal crackers, Ladyfingers, brownies, cheesecake. Which one tasted the best? As a class, you can graph the answers.

3. Draw a comic strip outline with three boxes and have your child or students fill in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Product DetailsBook Review & Activity: 
The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Scholastic, 2006

Christmas time is a fun time for teachers, especially those in the lower grades who do a unit on the Gingerbread Man. I collect variations on this tale, and The Gingerbread Girl is one of my favorites, about the Gingerbread Man’s sister.

I’ll run and I’ll run with a leap and a twirl. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Girl! This smart girl runs past farmers, a pig, an artist, cows, a dog walker, school children, and finally encounters the same fox who ate her brother. However, using her licorice hair, she’s able to lasso the fox’s snout. What happens to the fox? Read the book to find out.

You can make a gingerbread girl with your child or students.
1. Cut out a gingerbread shape on brown construction paper.
2. Use buttons, yarn, rick-rack, lace, ribbons, markers to make a face, dress, and shoes.
3. Glue on glitter for a sparkly dress.
4. Either tape to the wall or fridge or punch a hole at the top, make a ribbon loop and hang the gingerbread girl on your tree.

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Activities and Book Reviews