Gather the children together and share the story of The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt. After the story has been read, discuss with the children what happened when the Gingerbread Man reached the edge of the river.
Children, meet me at the rug for today's gingerbread story. We will be listening to The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt. This is a traditional story about the Gingerbread Man. That means that this way of telling the story has been told over and over again for many years. After I read the story to you, I am going to ask you some thinking questions about what you heard and saw.
How many of you have heard this story before? When you hear a story several times, it helps you to understand more pieces of the story that you might have missed the first time.
Let's think about the story. Why didn't the Gingerbread Man want to swim across the river? Why do you think he chose to ride with the fox when he had already run away from the other people and animals? Generate a discussion using these questions.
Predicting involves thinking ahead while reading and anticipating information and events in the text. After making predictions, students can read through the text and refine, revise, and verify their predictions. The strategy of making predictions actively engages students and connects them to the text by asking them what they think might occur in the story. Using the text, students refine, revise, and verify their thinking and predictions. We will be doing a science experiment to illustrate the idea of predicting. Later we will use it when we are reading a story.
How many of you like to experiment? We will be investigating what would happen if the Gingerbread Man had decided to swim the river by himself. You will get a chance to find out what will happen when a gingerbread man gets wet. I have a handout and a cookie for each of you, but this cookie is not for eating today. It is for our investigation. Waiting patiently.
Pass out the handout, and have the children write their names at the top. Give each child a gingerbread cookie. (Pepperidge Farms has gingerbread cookies.) Have the children analyze the cookie's attributes: soft/hard, short/tall, light/dark, etc.
Look carefully at the characteristics of your cookie. Is it hard or soft? Is it short or tall? Is it light or dark? Draw a picture of your cookie in the first box on your paper. See this cup of water? If you put your cookie in this water, what do you think will happen? Do not tell me, but instead, draw a picture of your thoughts in the second box. You are making a prediction. A prediction is a reasonable guess about what you think will happen next. I am giving you a cup of water, but please leave it alone until I say to put your cookie inside the cup. This way all of our cookies will be in the cups for the same amount of time. I will set my timer, and now you can put your cookies in the cup for two minutes.
Then have the children draw a picture in the first box of what the gingerbread man looked like before he got wet. Next, show the children a cup of water, and ask them to draw in the second box what they think the gingerbread man will look like after he gets wet. Reintroduce the vocabulary word "prediction" and talk about what this means. While the children are drawing their pictures, distribute small cups of water. Have the children set their cookie inside their cup of water (try to time it so all the children do this at the same time). Set a timer for two minutes and have the children wait. To occupy them while they wait, I like to have them sing my favorite, The Gingerbread Man song song by Stephanie Burton. By time they are done singing the timer usually goes off.
I have a favorite song that I would like to teach you while we are waiting for the timer to go off. It tells the story of the Gingerbread Man. It is an echo chant song, so I will sing a line and then you will echo my words back to me. "There once was a gingerbread...there once was a gingerbread..."
When the timer goes off, you may look at your cookies and take them out of the water. What did you see happened here? Draw a picture of your Soggy Gingerbread results in the third box on your paper.
The children look at their cookies and we discuss any changes that we see. Then the children draw in the third box what their cookies look like after being soaked.
Sometimes when we read stories, we make predictions, too. We look at the illustrations, and we listen to the words that the author has written. Then we make a reasonable guess about what will happen next in a story. This kind of activity helps us to think more about the story and about the author's purpose.
At the bottom of the paper, the children will mark whether their prediction agreed or disagreed with the results they got. This is a great time to let children talk amongst themselves about what they discovered. I walk around the room and listen to the conversations and ask specific children to share their comments.
I do not like to say that someone's prediction is right or wrong, just that the results did not agree with the prediction. Whose prediction was accurate or agreed with your guess? With what you now know, what do you think would happen to the Gingerbread Man if he had tried to swim across the river? Do you think that he knew what would happen if he got wet?