Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies



TITLE:  THE GINGERBREAD MAN TRAIL

AUTHOR:  Rosemary Valdez; San Juan Elementary
         San Juan Pueblo, N.M. 86566

GRADE LEVEL:  K-2

OVERVIEW:  This activity is used at the beginning of the year to help
children acclimate to the school surroundings and to match school
employees with their jobs.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this lesson is to present a fun, memorable way
for children to learn where the secretary, principal, nurse, janitor,
cafeteria, playground, and other grade levels are located and at the same
time matching a face and job with each of these locations and its
importance to the functioning of the school.

OBJECTIVE(s):  The objective of this lesson is to introduce the community
of the school and its environment, who is involved with the school and
where each of these people and functions are located.

RESOURCES/MATERIALS:
Various versions of the Gingerbread Man story
camera
gingerbread man pattern
map of the school environment
recipe for gingerbread

ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
1.  Read as many different versions of the story, "The Gingerbread Man."
Discuss how the Gingerbread Man on his journey met many different
animals and people.
2.  Children should be acclimated to their room environment, and begin to
discuss the environment outside of the room.  Take pictures of each person
and their respective work areas, or the area outside that the children need
to be familiar with.  Introduce these people at whatever pace you feel is
comfortable.  Discuss each job and its importance, or each are and its use.
As you finish the discussion, place a picture on the appropriate spot on the
school map you have drawn.
3.  When you have finished discussing and mapping the school environment,
invite the people you have been studying to come in and talk with the
class.  (The students enjoy meeting and talking with these people.)
4.  Finally, have the children draw a picture of their favorite school helper
and say why they chose that person.

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
The culminating activity is done through cooking.  With the children's help,
make a giant gingerbread man.  Make arrangements to have him cooked in
the school's kitchen.  Students help you take him to the kitchen and be
placed in the oven.  (At this point you need to arrange to have someone go
to the kitchen and take the gingerbread man back to your room while you
are on your tour of the school.)

When it is time to go and get your gingerbread man, the cooks inform the
children that they went to check on him and when they opened the door the
gingerbread man popped out and ran into the cafeteria, so begins your tour
of the school.  (Please be sure to inform in advance the people and rooms
you will be visiting that you are coming and let them know where to direct
you and the students next.)

When you have visited all locations and have found that the gingerbread
man has gotten away, you return to your room to find the gingerbread man
waiting for you.  The next and last step is obvious...you eat him.

Following your snack, go back and retrace your steps using your map.  This
activity has worked well in my class.  It is one that the children love to
recall and later on in their school years continue to remember.


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John Kurilecjmk@ofcn.org