Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Unit Theme: Gingerbread Man

Well, this was my last week of any official unit-theme-planning until the New Year!  We will still be doing school (our formal Reading, Math, etc.) until our Christmas break (my plan, as of now, is to start our break on December 21st).....but with baby coming any day and everything else going on this time of year, we're all scaling back a bit.  We will of course be doing our Countdown to Christmas/Advent "calendar" each day, and a spattering of Christmas-y crafts and activities.  But I am very much looking forward to more time over these next few weeks to cherish the season, cherish one another, and cherish this new baby that is coming SOON!

Gingerbread Man Books

These are all different variations on the traditional fairy tale. Caleb & Meredith loved these stories.  We had some great conversations about different elements of a story (characters, plot, etc.) as well as what a fairy tale is.  And, we talked about how even though each story was a little bit different from the others, they all had one thing in common - at the end, the gingerbread man gets eaten by the FOX!

Of course, we had to make some of our own little edible gingerbread men...the kids had fun decorating, but didn't really like the taste of them.

Shane didn't decorate, but he did enjoy sneaking a bunch of the red & green candies after the bigger kids were finished.

Craft: Construction Paper Gingerbread Man

I gave the kids a construction paper gingerbread man, and a bunch of buttons, pom poms, pipe cleaners and ribbon....they went to town (even Shane!).  They all love this type of significant directions, just the opportunity to cut, glue, and be creative.

This was Shane's first time using glue, and he did great!  He loved loved loved squeezing the glue into dots on his paper, and I had to keep reminding him to actually put something (a button, for example) ON the glue - he just wanted to keep squeezing more dots!

I love this...little hands at work.

Finished products:

Math: Estimation & Non-standard Measurement

Caleb used these foam gingerbread men (bought at the Target $1 spot, yes!) to measure a handful of different things, including himself.  Before actually measuring each one though, he had to estimate how many gingerbread men they might actually be.  The estimation part was interesting, as this was not something we've really done before...lots of new learning going on!

Filling out his chart.

Literacy: Making Words

 Caleb had all of the letters to spell "gingerbread" and then had to use those letters to spell smaller words.  It was a challenge for him to start the process of coming up with a word from the letters there, but with some prompting/clues from me (ie: what's a color that starts with "g"?), he was able to figure out & spell 10 words: red, green, digger, rad, bag, ran, bad, bird, rag and bed.

Gingerbread Man Hunt

I made a bunch of "clue" cards to attach to our foam gingerbread men and then placed them throughout the house, scavenger hunt style. I asked the kids if they thought that they could catch all the gingerbread men, even though they were just so fast & sneaky!  They immediately got giddy and were so excited to go find them all.

  The kids had to read the clues to figure out where to find the next gingerbread man.

 The kids loooooved this.  They got so excited when they would figure out where to find the next one, and ran (raced!) from spot to spot.

The final clue (found under the bananas) led them to the fridge, where a special treat of cookies & milk were waiting for them.  They don't particularly care for gingerbread cookies, so we went with these yummy and loved-by-my-kids alternatives (potato chip cookies - if you ever want the recipe, just ask...they are seriously good):

 Math: Patterns & Counting

 I had Meredith put the gingerbread men into a light-brown/dark-brown pattern...

 ...and then she put pom-pom "buttons" on to the cutouts according to the number card above

 Phonics: Soft G and Hard G

Caleb cut out some word/pictures cards that started with the letter g, and had to separate them into soft g and hard g words.

Look for our next "official" unit themed post (Winter/Arctic Animals) in January!


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