The last few years I’ve done a winter holiday ESL kids lesson around The Gingerbread Man story. The students range in age from 3 – 9 years old. My big learning push was that they memorize the catchy phrase “Run run run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread man.” This was fun and very easy for them all. I’m sure that their parents got tire of hearing them chant the little ditty.

We read this book from Usborne Books. I thought that the second to last page was a bit too graphic for the very little ones, so I cut it out and flipped it over and glued it to the back cover. In the original version the gingerbread man gets snapped in half, then a quarter, then just his head, and then he’s finally eaten. In my version, he climbs up on the foxes head and (page turn) “Snap! that was the end of the Gingerbread man.”

And we watched this video on YouTube:

We made our own gingerbread people, which of course was their favourite part.

But if you don’t have the capacity to make real Gingerbread cookies, or you just don’t have the energy (me by the time I get to Friday class) you can also do play-dough gingerbread men, or cardboard and puffy paint. Kidssoup has a nice gingerbread playdough recipe and free play dough mate that you can download.

Our paper gingerbread man with puffy paint (equal parts white clue and shaving foam).

You can use the template from the game below if you need one.

With my older classes we sometimes played a round of “Roll a Gingerbread man/woman”. It’s a quick game but always nice to have it as backup if needed (click on image to download).

I sometimes have the older children make their own comic strips and retell the story. We do this by folding a piece of paper into 8ths to create a comic strip look. I have them re-tell it to three people as part of their homework for the week. With the littler children I use a set of free printable re-telling cards. I really like this free printable retelling the story cards from over at Sarah J. Creations.

I’ve put together a free packet of Gingerbread materials that I often use when teaching, you can download it here or over in my Teacher Pay Teachers store.


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