The Gingerbread Boy, by Paul Galdone

           A little old lady and a little old man always wanted a child.  One day the woman decides to bake a gingerbread boy.  The gingerbread boy has his own ideas and runs away.  Join in the chase with a delicious ending, at least for the fox.


            Sequins or small buttons

            Animal Crackers.

            Recopy poem and add animals

            Person shaped cookie cutter

            2 gingerbread boys to be used to measure


  • Threshing (using the stick to separate the seeds from the stalk of the wheat)

Before Reading the Story

Hold up the cover of the book and read the title. Ask the children if they have ever seen a boy that looked like this? Can they guess what he is made of? Ask the children if they have ever heard a similar story (The GingerBread Man, The GingerBread Woman). If so, ask them if they can recall what happened in the story.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in abilities to initiate and respond appropriately in conversation and discussions with peers and adults.

Reading the Story

            When the gingerbread boy gets up and runs, ask the children why they think he would do that?  After each character/s begin to chase the gingerbread boy ask them if they think he will get caught.  When the gingerbread boy gets up on the foxes nose, ask the children what they think is going to happen.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in a bilities to retell and dictate stories from book sans experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

After Reading the Story

            Ask the children if they think the fox should have eaten the gingerbread boy, why or why not.  If you caught the gingerbread boy what would you do? Play What Would You Do with the children. Ask questions that ask the children to make judgement calls. What would you do if you were walking down the street and you found a cookie just lying on the ground? WOuld you eat it? What would you do if you were helping your neighbor sweep her sidewalk and she gave you a cookie when you were finished, would you eat it? What would you do if you were cleaning your room and you were looking under your bed and you saw a cookie, would you eat it? What would you do if I gave you a cookie and then your friend came over but did not get one? What would you do if you saw your cat playing with something and you went to see what and it was a cookie? Talk with the children about when it is safe to eat something and when it is not

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.


           Give each child several animal crackers/cookies. What shapes do you have? What color are they? What do they smell like? Are they hrd or soft when you bite? Does it make a sound when you bite it? Do you like the taste? Is it sweet or sour? Graph which children like animal crackers and those who do not.

Science/Scientific Methods & Skills; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

Cut out the pieces for the Runaway Cookies poem and present it to the children. Do a second time and let the children come and take the appropriate cookie off the board and act out it’s actions.

The cookie jar people hopped out one night, when the cookie jar lid was not on tight.

The gingerbread man opened his raisin eyes and looked about in a great surprise.

The frosted bunny twinkled his nose and dance around on his cookie toes.

The sugary duck began to quack and shook the sugar right off his back.

The cinnamon bear could only grunt, he was too fat to do a stunt.

The coconut lamb jumped so high, that her little tail nearly touched the sky.

The cookies were happy to be at play so they never went back to the cookie jar that day.

Language Development/Listening * Understanding;demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.


            Line up 5 animals or people on the floor.  Ask the child which is first in line, last, which is in the middle, which is second.  Have the child name the animals or people (fireman, doctor, teacher, policeman, construction worker).

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.


            Have the children roll out play dough and make gingerbread people.  Use the sequins or buttons to adorn them.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative self expression and representation.

Sand and Water

            Water play today.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control;demonstrates increasing capacity to follow rules and routines and use materials purposefully, respectfully, and safely.

Library and Writing

            Copy the gingerbread boy shape onto several manila files and cut out.  Let the children trace around them and cut them out.  Let them color them if they choose to.  Ask the children to pretend that the cookie becomes a real person, what would you name it, and what might you say to it?  Write their responses on the back.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer. AND Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Math and Manipulatives

            Cut out the gingerbread cookies and let the children use them to measure strips of tape on the floor and objects around the room (the table is 8 gingerbread boys and 1 head long)

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; Shows progress in using standard and non-standard measure for length and area of objects.

Outdoor Play

            Have the children line up in a line and run around the playground staying in the line.  They can pretend to be the characters in the story.  Teacher is first and calls out “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread boy!”

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.


Hand out the five cookie shapes from music to five children. Repeat the Runaway Cookie poem. When the child’s cookie type is called, they may transition to the next activity. Give to five more and continue until all the children have been called to transition.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multi-step directions.


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.