Gingerbread Baby, by Jan Brett

            This is a varied version of the classic gingerbread man.  You could read both and compare or just read this one and enjoy.  Jan Brett draws beautiful illustrations with many details and clues of what’s to come.  This book encourages the reader to do good observations.

Materials

  •             A bag of gingerbread cookies
  •             2 bags of cotton balls
  •             Gingerbread baby shape

Vocabulary

  •             Worn-looking (old and kind of beat up from use)
  •             Peek (look inside to see how what’s in there is doing)
  •             Pranced (jump all around)
  •             Delicious (yummy)
  •             Smug (Feeling very proud of self)

Before Reading the Story

            Ask the children if they have ever helped to bake cookies?  What are some of the steps you have to do, where do you put the cookies to cook?   Say to the children let’s pretend to bake cookies.  First we have to get a great big bowl to put all the ingredients into.  Walk them through the steps from mixing in the bowl to putting on the tray, cooking in the oven, taking out of the oven, and putting them on the rack to cool.  Now let’s eat them, yummy.  Ask the children what kind of cookies they made?  Ask the children if they have ever eaten gingerbread?    Tell them that today’s story is about a gingerbread cookie.  Introduce the book.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems. AND Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Reading the Story

            When Matti opens the cookbook for a second time, ask the children what do you think he is looking for?  When Martha and Madeline tried to catch the gingerbread baby by the well, what do you think happened?  When Matti says he will catch the gingerbread baby, ask how do you think he will do this? When you get to the page where the fox is smacking his lips, ask the children if they think he will catch the gingerbread baby.  Note the side pages, ask the children what they think Matti is doing?

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

After Reading the Story

            How did the gingerbread baby get out of the oven?  Ask the children to see if they can remember the order of the characters in the story.  Who chased the gingerbaby first, second, third, next?

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

Discovery

            Let the children taste a gingerbread cookie.  Ask the children to describe how the cookie tastes, write their responses down.  Make a graph of those who like gingerbread and those who do not like gingerbread.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; begins to use standard and non-standard measures. AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Music and Movement;\

            Do the Gingerbread Baby finger play.  Hold one hand out, palm up.  Use the other hand to be the gingerbread babies.  Start with 5 fingers laying on the palm and take one away with each verse.

Five little gingerbread men laying on the tray,

One jumped up and ran away.

Catch me, catch me, catch me if you can

I can run fast I’m the gingerbread man!

(Go down to one)

No more gingerbread men laying on the tray,

They all jumped up and ran away.

Next time I’ll eat them before they run away!

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

Blocks

            Cut out a handful of gingerbread babies in various colors. Encourage the children to build homes for the gingerbread babies using the blocks.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Art

            Roll out play dough and use cookie cutters to make cookies. (Wood cylinder blocks work as rolling pins if your center has none).

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

            Have the children cut out the gingerbread baby shapes and let them decorate them however they choose.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; develops increased ability to make independent choices.

Library and Writing

            Show the children how to make a simple home with a square and a triangle roof.  Let them use markers or colored pencils to decorate.  On the bottom of the page write, I’m the gingerbread baby who is lucky as can be because ______made a house just for me!

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools, including, pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various technology.

Sand and Water

            Put small people in the table and cotton balls.  Show the children how to rip the cotton balls apart to make a winter scene.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Dramatic Play

            Pretend to bake delicious things in the oven.

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Math and Manipulatives

            Cut out 10 gingerbread baby patterns that are about 6-inches tall and let the children use them to measure items in the room.  How many gingerbread babies tall are they, the table, the carpet?

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

Outdoor Play

            Tell the children that you are going to play gingerbread man.  The children can take on the different rolls and they can all run around one behind the other.  As the children run around sing out “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!”.

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

Transitions

            As the children go to their next activity, give them directions on how to get there. (Kerry, hop, hop as fast as you can; Roger,  jump, jump as fast as you can; Tammie,tip toe, tip toe as fast as you can)

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

Resources

Someone Special Just like you, by Tricia Brown

            This book introduces young children to disabilities in a way that makes them so natural that the children will not think of a disability as something odd but a natural part of who each individual is.

Materials

    

Vocabulary

  • Disability (a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities)

Before reading the Story

Start a discussion with the children about how we are all different. That each of us has things that we like to do, things we are good at doing, and things we do not really like to do. Allow children to comment upon each of these thoughts. Explain to the children that it is all these different feelings that make us each special. Introduce the book.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Reading the Story

            As you read, point out the different equipment that the children are wearing or using (See the hearing aid?  It helps him to hear sounds and words). Answer any questions that the children might have about devices and equipment to help people with disabilities.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks. AND Language Development/Speaking & Understanding; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

After Reading the Story

In our story today we saw lots of children who had special equipment to help them to be able to do things that they might not otherwise be able to. Does anyone remember the names or uses for one of the pieces of equipment? (glasses, hearing aid, walker). When people have to use special equipment they sometimes might need help. For example if a person is in a wheelchair, they might need help being pushed down the hall/to a center. You can be a friend by asking them if they would like you to help, or by just asking them if they would like to play with you. Ask the children to raise their hands if they like to have fun? And people with disabilities like to have fun too. Raise your hands if you like it when others ask you to play with them? And children with disabilities like to be asked to play too. Raise your hands if you like to be treated mean? People with disabilities do not like to be treated mean either. Raise your hands if you like to be treated with kindness? People with disabilities like to be treated with kindness also. End by telling the children that just like the title of the story today, they are all special and you are so glad that they are your friends.

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy or caring for others.

            Explain that a person who is blind can not see out of their eyes. They have to learn to get around with the help of a friend or sometimes a dog that has been specially trained to help them. Tell the children that today you are going to pretend to be the dog or friend. Explain that as they move to the next activity, you are going to lead them while they close their eyes. Walk them to the line or the center. As you walk with them one at a time, ask them how it makes them feel to not be able to see out of their eyes? (scary, confused, unsure)

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Discovery

            Put the book in the center today along with any other books or pictures that show equipment to help people with disabilities. Take a moment to share with the children the names of the pieces of equipment and how they help.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

Music and Movement;

            Teach the children, It’s Love That makes The World Go Round https://search.myway.com/search/video.jhtml?enc=0&n=7867896c&p2=%5ECPZ%5Exdm317%5ETTAB02%5EUS&pg=video&pn=1&ptb=A0680D34-B28C-4AA7-BB20-22002DA2EFA5&qs=&searchfor=It%27s+love%2C+it%27s+love%2Cit%27s+love+that+make+the+world+go+round-song&si=55412556653&ss=sub&st=tab&tpr=sbt&trs=wtt

It’s love, its love, it’s love that makes the world go round,

It’s love, its love, it’s love that makes the world go round,

It’s love, its love, it’s love that makes the world go round,

It’s love that makes the world go round.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of musical activities, including listening, singing, singer plays, games, and performances.

Blocks

            If you have a set of disability people you can talk about each one and what their piece of equipment is called.  Tell them that for a person in a wheelchair how it is hard for them to go up and down stairs.  Ask the children if they can build a ramp to get into their block structure.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problem through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

Art

            Cut out eyeglass shapes from poster board and let the children decorate them. Use pipe cleaners to make the over the ear pieces.

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Sand and Water

Add water beads to the center. As they swell in the water they become very sensory.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Library and Writing

            Use plastic lacing letters or make letters from pieces of sand paper.  Have the children lay the letters onto the table and put a piece of paper over.  Use the side of a crayon to press down and make a rubbing.  Can the children name the letters that they have used?

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Dramatic Play

            Add any kind of special equipment you can find so the children can understand how it feels to wear a brace or not see, etc.  (Cut a box to make a brace that can be taped around a child’s leg, old sunglasses can have tape put on the lenses, ear phones can be added so the children hear through a muffled sound, and a chair can be turned into a pretend wheelchair).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment.

Math and Manipulatives

            Put out any puzzles that depict people with disabilities.  Use the puzzles as a jumping board for a discussion on how we can help each other, ways to make people feel a part of the group (with and without special equipment), and acts of kindness in general.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Outdoor play

            Is your playground and facilities handicap accessible?  As you go to the playground, note to the children the ramps to get in and out of the building.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; beuil;ds 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.

Make a jumping game. On the cement, draw a large rectangle that is divided by slanted lines (see resources). The children start at one end and jump from name to name calling them out as they go. Can they identify their friends names? Can they identify the first letter of the name? You can also do this with colors, shapes, or individual letters.

Literacy?Alphabet Knowledge; increases in ability to notice the beginning letters of familiar words. AND Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.

Transitions

Use the pillowcase as a Feely Bag. Explain to the children that people who can not see with their eyes, learn to use their sense of touch to help them know what things are. Beforehand, gather a variety of objects from your various centers. Put an object one at a time into the pillow case so that the children can not see. Have the children take turns using their hands to feel the object in the pillowcase and guess what it is.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

Resources

pattern to make glasses out of posterboard
Pattern to use on playground

Scamper’s Year, by Jeff Kindley

                  Scamper teaches children about the life of a squirrel as he enjoys the fruits of each season. 

Materials

  •                   Bag of mixed nuts in the shell
  •                   Squirrel shape

Vocabulary

  •                   Scamper (to run and jump while playing)

Before Reading the Story

                  Ask the children to share with you what they know about squirrels.  Write their responses down on a piece of paper. 

Science/Science Knowledge; expands knowledge and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

As you read the story, allow the children to make comment and ask questions. Use this to help assess how much each child knows about squirrels.

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

After Reading the Story

                  Ask the children if they can think of any new information that can be added to their knowledge chart.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in abilities to initiate and respond appropriately in conversation and discussions with peers and adults. AND Science/Science Knowledge; expands knowledge and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

 Discovery

                  Put out books and pictures of real squirrels.  If you have squirrels in your neighborhood, consider feeding them so that the children can observe their funny antics.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increasing ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Music and Movement

                  Sing Gray Squirrel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1U5i_scF_M&list=PLAd00doYJ7gSnyFdUUk9Uw4C8EiBThjHn&index=1 Have the children do the actions as you sing.

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel

Swish your fluffy tail.

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel

Swish your fluffy tail.

Wrinkle up your funny nose,

Put a nut between your toes.

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel

Swish your fluffy tail.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

                  Give each child two nuts and let them tap them together for musical instruments as you sing.

Creative Arts/Music; experiments with a variety of instruments. AND Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Blocks

Add natural items to your center to add to children’s structures. (Rocks, sticks, acorns, seed pods, pine cones, etc).

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Art;

                  Give each child a squirrel shape.  Cut out 1 inch squares of tissue paper and show the children how to make balls and glue it to the squirrel shape.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, stapler, paper punch, and hammer.

Sand and Water

                  Add many acorns to the table. ( A note: acorns that come into the warm for an extended period of time may contain tiny larva which will pop out over time. Use acorns for just a day or two before setting them back outside). Give the children small containers or a balance scale. They can then count the acorns or try to get both sides to be equal.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, fewer, equal. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Library and Writing

                  In the story the squirrel talks about what he likes to do in each season.  Challenge the children to think about the activites that they like to do during each season.  Help them to write an  I like the ____ poem. (I like the summer because I play outside after dinner.  I like the fall time because I like Halloween pumpkins.  I like the winter because Grandma comes to my house.  I like spring because there was a rainbow once at my Grandma’s house”.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Dramatic Play

                  Bring in some clothing to represent your two most extreme seasons.  Help the children verbalize the names of the seasons as they dress. IE summer and winter

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as shape or size.

Math and Manipulatives

                  Squirrels like to eat nuts.  Bring in a bag of mixed nuts in the shell and let the children use them for sorting.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows progress in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as shape, size, or color.

Outdoor Play

                  Put several hoola hoops on the ground in a spread out fashion.  Ask the children to all stand in a hoola hoop.  More than one child may stand in the same hoola hoop.  The teacher is “it”.  When the teacher shouts “Squirrels Change Trees” the children must run from one hula hoop to another without being caught by the teacher. 

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

Transitions

Hold your two hands into fists. Bump them together as you say the following poem; 1,2,3, What number do you see? When you say “see” hold up fingers and ask a child to name how many. For younger children start with 1-5 and older children include 1-10.

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

Resources

squirrel babies are very small and their eyes are shut at birth
Squirrels snuggle together in their nest to stay warm
Many squirrels build large nests in trees
Squirrels have 4 toes on the front and 5 on the back. Their nails are sharp so they can climb trees.
Some squirrels make their home in holes of a tree
Squirrels carry nuts in their cheeks
Squirrels bury and hide their nuts so they will have food for the winter when there are no nuts available
Squirrels have whiskers on their faces
Squirrels are fast runners and jumpers
Squirrels are good at balancing and climbing
Squirrels have fluffy tails