|Book cover of Gingerbread Baby|
Gingerbread Baby especially is a wonderful book because it talks about the fact that it was a cold day, and it would be really nice to make gingerbread. I went to the grocery store and got cinnamon sticks and ginger root, as well as gingerbread cookies. Before reading the book, my assistant and I gave each child an opportunity to smell the cinnamon stick and the ginger root. Since most of my students speak Spanish as their primary language, the more opportunities that I can give them for vocabulary development, the better their language becomes. We received some wonderful responses from the kids, such as "That smells like pie or cookies!" and "My mom puts that on my toast."
We read the book, pausing to ask the students what they thought the main character, Mattie, was doing after the gingerbread baby ran away. One boy said "He was making another gingerbread baby." A girl said that Mattie was making a gingerbread girl so she wouldn't run away. Another student thought that Mattie was making a whole family. What great responses! I was so surprised that one of my students even said that Mattie was making a house for the gingerbread boy, which was exactly what Mattie was doing in the book. We asked that student why he thought Mattie was making a house, and he replied "Well, because he doesn't have his own house."
Following our discussion of the book, we did a great song by Jack Hartmann called "The Gingerbread Man," in which the children got to act out the story. They pretended that they were characters from the story, skipping, running, hopping on top of the fox, and finally eating the gingerbread cookie that had been placed in their hand in the beginning.