Saturday, January 5, 2013

A little gingerbread party

Each year, before going on winter break, we read several gingerbread stories. I'm sure like most of you, we note the refrain, examine the characters, events, and endings, and compare and contrast our favorites. But after that, my favorite thing to do is actually bake gingerbread cookies in class!

I have all of the ingredients laid out on my desk when the kids come in that morning. I quickly show them each one and we talk about when they have used them before. I also let the kids smell the ginger, vanilla and molasses... always a crowd pleaser.

This list of ingredients hangs on the board so we can refer to it when mixing.

This is the direction poster which I also hang on the board. We do step 1 - 5 in the morning, reading each one as we go. While a few students are helping me add ingredients, the others are writing and drawing in their mini books. 

Some of these pages were completed in the morning, some in the afternoon and some the next day. This student was absent the day we finished the books. Also, I have since cut and staples these together.

I cannot remember where I found this book last year. If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give them credit!

In the afternoon, we perform a simple science experiment. We recall the gingerbread characters that did not want to cross the river on their own. The students say why they think those characters did not want to get wet. Then we predict and record what will happen when we place a gingerbread cookie into a bowl of water. Next, we get the dough out of the refrigerator and begin rolling it out. I make sure each student gets a turn. After, we use the cookie cutter to cut out our cookies. This takes about 20 minutes, so then we check on our experiment. The students record their observations and continue working in their mini books. After 30 minutes, we check on the experiment again, record our new observations and discuss the outcome. Later, when the kids are in PE, I bake the cookies in the school's kitchen. 

The recording sheet came from none other than the amazing Deanna Jump.

Once the baking is finished, I can prep for the best part... cookie decorating!

We usually have enough for the kids to decorate 2 cookies. One of the cookies we eat and the other we take home. We chart which part of the cookie we ate first. The next day we graph and analyze the results. 

I also can't remember where I got this adorable graph. I was not using Pinterest last year, if you can believe it or not! So again, please let me know if you recognize it! 

That's how we wrap up our gingerbread unit! What do you do?

Best wishes,

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