Gingerbread books! There are so many story variations, and I just can’t get enough! Students and teachers alike enjoy reading gingerbread books. During Gingerbread Week in my classroom, we read four different gingerbread books at circle time including The Gingerbread Boy, The Gingerbread Baby, The Gingerbread Girl, and The Gingerbread Cowboy and make a gingerbread book comparison chart. I have made comparison charts for years but this year I finally made a one with pictures. This way my preschool and pre-k students can “read” the pictures on the chart and have book discussions with peers using the chart independently.
We read each book four times! I am sure you are wondering how I can fit that in. My preschool classroom is open from 7 am – 6 pm. There are two circles in my morning routine and two circles in the afternoon. I teach the morning circles and my amazing assistant facilitator teaches the two afternoon circles. Reading and rereading books supports students understanding of story elements, fluency, and reading comprehension. It is always the plan to read each story five times but as you all know, plans can change.
Each day I have a different essential question and purpose for why I am reading the book. The first day I read the book for enjoyment and to develop fluency. I tell students BEFORE I read to just listen and enjoy the story! This sets the stage for why we are reading the book. Based on my essential question, I add to my story chart each day. Each time I read the book, I use character cards to help engage the students and use a visual when I am asking questions. Each gingerbread book has a set of character cards.
During circle time, students noticed that some of the gingerbread books had the same characters and some had different characters. We created a Venn diagram using hula hoops, character cards, and the gingerbread books to compare the characters. It was a great visual so my students could see what characters were the same and different.
To add a writing and reflection component, my pre-k students wrote about their favorite character. She wrote “I love the fox.”
To wrap up our gingerbread book study, students voted on their favorite gingerbread book. During and after the vote, I asked questions about which had most/least and how can we figure it out (by counting or visually comparing). It was an easy way to sneak in some math!
In my library center, I put all my gingerbread books for students to read throughout the day during our gingerbread unit.
Everything in this post is included in Gingerbread Books: Comparing, Retelling, and Writing. If you want gingerbread centers too, I’ve got you covered. Grab my Gingerbread Bundle which includes the gingerbread book comparison kit and gingerbread centers!