Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gingerbread Man Bridges Our First Try at STEM

Gingerbread Man STEM, STEM kindergarten project
Last week my class completed their first STEM project.  I don't know who was more excited about the outcome, me or them.  We had been reading many versions of the Gingerbread Man.  After reading each story we would compare it to the others we had read.  We would discuss the characters, the setting and how the story ended.  It didn't take long for my students to realize that in almost every story the main character needed to cross the river and was usually tricked, then eaten by a sly fox or wolf.  We also talked about some possible solutions to the problems in the different stories.  My students had some fabulous ideas.

I wanted my students to have a project to do once we had read all of the books.   I had seen a few ideas on Pinterest involving building a bridge for the Gingerbread Man.  So, I decided to give it a try, using only items I already had.

I rummaged through my arts and craft drawers for some supplies. and then assembled kits for each team to start with.  Once they were started they could request more from the bridge supply store. (Parent Helper).  I divided my class into groups of 3, making sure that each team had students who could work well together and not have one student who would do all the work.

The Challenge
Work with your team to build a bridge over the river (tub) for the gingerbread man to cross.
Each tub consisted of :
  • straws
  • popsicle sticks
  • mini popsicle sticks
  • skewers
  • egg cartons cut in half
  • pipe cleaners
  • toilet paper tubes
Another volunteer was in charge of the masking tape.  Each team would send a member to get the tape as needed.

At the end of the day we invited the parents to come in and take a look at our wonderful creations. each team had a different approach as to how they used the materials.  Some had very sturdy bridges with ladders others had staircases and tunnels.
Gingerbread Man activities STEM, Kindergarten
Gingerbread Man activities STEM, Kindergarten

Gingerbread Man activities STEM, Kindergarten
Gingerbread Man activities STEM, Kindergarten
Gingerbread Man activities STEM, Kindergarten
Gingerbread Man STEM
I can't wait until we do another STEM project like this.  My kids had such a fun time and it really required little preparation at all.  I had all the materials already, all it took was for me to gather them together the night before and put them into the containers.

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These are all the books that we read the past few weeks.  I love all the different versions.  I think that the Gingerbread Pirate and the Gingerbread Baby are two of my favorites.


Who knew there could be so many?  Believe it or not I actually have more.  It is sort of an obsession of mine.  I love the Gingerbread Man/Boy/Girl....  It is such a great story to use for retelling too.  Next year I think we'll turn it into a play.  

Tell me in the comments, did I leave out one of your favorite Gingerbread stories?  Also, if you have ideas for other STEM projects for January, I'd love to hear your ideas.

4 comments:

traci527 said...

We loved Gingerbread Bear and Gingerbread girl goes Animal Crackers too. I liked the Stem challenge!

First Grade Funtastic said...

I love this we did it too and put water underneath. We also used a gingerbread cookie as the gingerbread man. The kids had so much fun!

First Grade Funtastic said...

I love this we did it too and put water underneath. We also used a gingerbread cookie as the gingerbread man. The kids had so much fun!

Luv My Kinders said...

Great idea! I will be adding this to our activities for next year with our gingerbread man unit. I too have an obsession with Gingerbread stories, I have lost count on how many I have. Have you read Senorita Gordita?? It is a fun version. I try to read it with a spanish accent and all my ELL kiddos just crack up. Thanks for sharing!

~Laura
Luv My Kinders

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