Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Comparing Gingerbread Stories {Freebie included}

This is a post that probably won't be real helpful right now, but will be a good save for next year.  I know many compare the different gingerbread stories, but this year I wanted to try something a little bit different.  I have been using Guiding Readers the last couple months, and my kiddos love it.  For December, there was The Gingerbread Man and The Gingerbread Girl.  Things got a little off track with different things happening in our building so I knew I'd only have time to really get into one of them, so I chose The Gingerbread Man.

After doing the week of activities around The Gingerbread Man, we still had 2 days left until break.  I decided to put students into groups and assign them a version of the gingerbread story.  They were then going to present their version to the class.

While I have some pretty good readers in kindergarten, I knew that it would take them a while to read each book and making sure everyone in the group heard the story was a priority, so I took to YouTube to find the stories I was going to use.  I just searched the title of each story.  I decided to use copies of the books I had, but next time I might get a second copy from the library too so everyone could see more easily.

I loaded each story on an iPad in my classroom, handed the book and iPad to the group and they got started.

After reading (listening to) the story, students got to work on filling out information about their story.  I wanted them to be able to give a brief retell of the story (major highlights) then share: characters, setting, what the gingerbread person said and what happened at the end.  I had papers for them to fill out for each of the 4 things I wanted them to share and the retell was up to them how they did it.

After filling out their papers, each group got a piece of bulletin board paper to make a little display.  I asked that they include: the title of the book, an illustration of the character or cover of the book and their information they recorded.  For my own organization and sanity, I made each set of papers a different color and got 5 different colors of bulletin board paper as well.

Once the "displays" were completed, each group got in front of the class and shared their story.  You could see their faces light up with connections as other groups shared their stories and they compared it to the story they had read.  I used The Gingerbread Pirates, but it did not have the repetitive phrase in it.  The kids were surprised that all the stories didn't have that.

Here are their completed projects hanging in the hallway.  I learned that on the whole, my kiddos did not have very good spatial sense with that big piece of paper. :)  I'm totally ok with that, though, because that was not the point of the activity!  It was more about the process of thinking about the story and getting their ideas on paper.  They worked as a group, understood their stories and were able to make connections and comparisons.  

I had planned for this to be a 2 day activity, but they were so excited that they asked to continue.  In the end, they gave up their center time that morning to be able to finish their work.  I kept hearing "this is fun".

Here is a close up of each section of one of the displays.

You can download the papers students used in their projects here.  It is a freebie!  I plan to have students compare other stories in a similar way in the future.  If this is fun for them, I know they are getting something out of it!


  1. Love it!!! I bet they were so proud of themselves! Hope you had a great break!

    1. Thanks, friend! They were so excited to share their work. My break was relaxing and full of family. :)