Whole-ly Moly! It's a Gingerbread Baby!

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SWBAT create a whole gingerbread baby from parts. SWBAT write multiple sentences to describe the parts of the gingerbread baby.

Big Idea

Catch me if you can!

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

This is the first lesson in a series of four.

Read Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett

If you do not have the book, here is a great read of it! 

Unencumbered 1st Read


This is a first read and first reads are generally unencumbered.  I stop only in a few places.  I like to stop when the Gingerbread Baby gets to the bakery and check for understanding.

 I say:  Where did the Gingerbread Baby go?  What is the SETTING at this point in the story? 

If the kids do not now what a bakery is, we spend some time talking about what it is and what you can buy there.  This really heightens understanding of both the characters and the events throughout the story.


The purpose of this read is for students to get the gist of the text.  I stop at the words that may be unfamiliar to my second language learners and do a quick step aside explanation of those words.  We will examine these words more in depth during the second and third reads of the text, so this is a quick discussion. 


Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

Brace Map


My district uses Thinking Maps to help kids with both planning and understanding of writing and reading.    We use ‘Brace Maps’ to help kids see part to whole relationships.    This thinking map helps to organize relationships of physical objects.  It allows you to break a physical object into its components for a deeper analysis and in Kindergarten we do this, in large part, through picture analysis.  As students develop a deeper understanding of this and become more adept with the map, the parts of the object become “smaller” and more specific, making this map more complex.   Here is more detailed information on the Brace Map!


Brace mapping the Gingerbread Baby is the first experience my student have with a Brace Map. This map has only three parts, so it is more than manageable for my students. 


  The Gingerbread Baby is presented as a ‘puzzle’ that we put together in a large box that represents the ‘whole.’  I have students sit with me on the carpet and model cutting apart the pieces of the gingerbread baby.  I then send the students to their seats and they cut apart the parts of the Gingerbread Baby.  As they are cutting, I bring the map around to each student.  After all students have cut their parts out and they have their maps, I put my parts and map on the document camera.

I say: Boys and girls, there are three parts to the Gingerbread Baby.  Who can tell me what part goes on the TOP of the Gingerbread Baby? (head)  Let's glue the HEAD in the TOP part of the box.  I model gluing the head as the kids glue theirs.

I follow the same procedure with the BODY and LEGS/FEET.  



 After we glue him together, we identify each part in the ‘parts’ boxes.  In the top box, we write the word head.  I ask: How do we write /h/?  (h)  How do we write /e/?  (e) I In this word there is a silent 'a' that goes with the 'e.'  We will talk more about silent letters later, but for now let's write the 'a'.   How do we write /d/? (d)  What's the word? (head)

I follow the same pattern of directed spelling/writing for 'body' and 'legs.'


I like to do a lot of modeling in this fashion because it helps kids to hear and see how we stretch words to help us write them accurately.  If students struggle with the sound spellings, I help them to use our sound spelling cards and the picture clues that go with them to find the letter they need.  This is a very important skill that they need to master in kindergarten so they can read and write fluently with speed in first grade!



We talk about how those are the PARTS that make up the WHOLE Gingerbread Baby


Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Writing from the Map

Because this is our first experience with the Brace Map, I do this writing whole group where I write on the document camera and students write with me. 

 I have used a variety of sentences with my classes, depending on their grade level and I try to use the sight words we have studied thus far.  For example,  we might write   The head is on the top. (top box)  The body is in the middle. (middle box)  The legs and feet are at the bottom. (bottom box) 

I have also used:  This is the head on top.  This is the body in the middle.  These are the legs and feet at the bottom.   Because my students are predominately second language learners I try to include sight words, body parts and location words to help build vocabulary and a sense of sentence structure.


Say: Boys and girls, what is the first part of our brace map on the right at the top? (head)  What is a complete sentence we could write about that part?  


I take students suggestions and use guided inquiry to help students along if they are struggling to create a complete sentence.  Say:  The head is on top” is a great sentence!  Let’s write that first!  How do we spell/write the word ‘the?’  That is one of our sight words so let’s look on the word wall to find it.  Does anyone know what letter we should look under? (T)  I walk over to the letter T and ask: Which word here says ‘the?’   We then write it together on our paper, mine on the document camera and students on their own at their desks. 

Say: Don’t forget to capitalize the T because it is the first word of a sentence.  (assist and monitor as students write the word ‘The.’ )  


I continue: Now let’s write the word ‘head.’  How do I write /h/?  (h)  How do I write /e/?  (e, but I tell students that it has a silent a that goes with it in this word…we talk about that later in the year)  How do we spell /d/?  (d) 


I then follow the same format of finding ‘is,’ ‘on,’ and ‘the’ on the word wall.  Students write on their papers as I write on mine on the document camera. 


Say: Now let’s write the word ‘top.’  How do we write /t/?  (t)  How do we write /o/?  (o)  How do we write /p/?(p)  What goes last in a sentence? (period)


I finish: Let's read our sentence.  I want you to touch the words like I do as we read them.  Fingers ready?  I touch the words on my paper on the document camera and students track the words on their paper.  We read the sentence together.  Many students can read with me, but some kids are a beat behind and echo reading what we say.  Either way, they are getting the practice and exposure to the fluency and tracking!


I follow the same procedure for the two remaining parts of the Brace Map.  When complete, students have a three sentence paragraph describing the parts of the Gingerbread Baby.