Book Unit: Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett


Gingerbread Baby Unit

Submitted by: Kelley DeBoer

Grade Levels: 1-2.  An 11 lesson plan unit for Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett.

Lesson Outline:

  1. Gingerbread Baby’s Home
  2. Gingerbread Forest Map Skills
  3. Gingerbread Baby Student Books
  4.  Gingerbread Baby Ornaments
  5. Character Traits in Gingerbread Baby
  6. Gingerbread Baby Language Arts/Grammar
  7. Gingerbread Baby v. Gingerbread Boy
  8. Gingerbread Baby’s Point of View
  9. Gingerbread Baby Reading
  10. Gingerbread Baby Board Game
  11. Gingerbread Baby Final Activity

Lesson 1: Gingerbread Baby’s Home

The children will collaboratively create a home for the Gingerbread baby.


  • Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
  • Sheets off a roll of brown bulletin board backing paper.
  • Fun tack or masking tape.
  • Construction paper of various colors.
  • Tempara paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Imagination and fun required

Lesson Plan:

  1. After reading Jan Brett’s story “The Gingerbread Baby”, have the children brainstorm the items the Gingerbread boy will need to live inside the house that was created for him.
  2. Cut out a huge oversized gingerbread house out of the brown paper. Post in the outside hall or on a large wall space within the classroom.
  3. Have the children work together to cut out and paint different types of candy to decorate the house.
  4. Make a large door that opens by lifting on the fold.
  5. Have the children draw and place inside the door the items they brainstormed the baby would need. Use your computer to print in large letters “Run Run Run as fast as you can….” Or for older children, have them rewrite the story in their own words.
  6. You can download the pattern for each student to make their own House to keep. Just go to

Lesson 2: Gingerbread Forest Map Skills

After reading the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett the children will create a large 3D table map of the journey the Baby traveled!


  • Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
  • boxes/milk cartons of various shapes and sizes.
  • Construction paper.
  • Blue overhead projector sheets.
  • Toilet paper rolls

Lesson Plan:

  1. First help the children to create a map on the classroom white board or chalk board.
  2. Then have the children work in small groups to create the building and landforms found in the story. (Remember: No characters… it’s a map.) Blue overhead projector sheets give a nice feeling to the water. On the table lay out the landforms, buildings and trees.
  3. Make a compass and attach it to the map. Make a stick puppet of the Gingerbread baby. Have the students work in pairs. One student gives directions using north, east, south and west and the other students have to follow the travel directions.
  4. Copy this map onto paper and use it to go over map skills. It will be much easier for the students to work on paper after they’ve created the 3D map.

Lesson 3: Gingerbread Baby Student Books

Students will create their own paper for a story based on Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Baby.


Lesson Plan:

  1. Students will tear up scrap paper into tiny pieces and place in a blender with water.
  2. Blend the paper and water until it is a milky white shade.
  3. Scoop the pulp out of the blender and remove the excess water by pressing through a screen.
  4. Press the mixture into a cookie mold or cut with a cookie cutter. Let it dry for several days.
  5. Now you have new paper shaped like the gingerbread ready for a writing activity!
  6. Let the children decorate one side, and write about the story on the back.

Lesson 4: Gingerbread Baby Ornaments

Create ornaments from the story, Gingerbread Baby, to give as holiday gifts.


  • Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
  • patterns – download at from the Gingerbread Baby Story
  • plastic margarine tops for making templates
  • applesauce
  • glue
  • cinnamon
  • cookie cutters

Lesson Plan:

  1. Trace and use the Gingerbread Baby patterns for templates. I like to use old plasic margin tops for templates.
  2. Mix together applesauce, cinnamon, and glue together until they make a thick type clay.
  3. Press into molds or roll flat and cut around the templates.
  4. Put a hole at the top while they are still wet.
  5. Let dry and add thin ribbon and bows to complete the gift.

Lesson 5: Character Traits in Gingerbread Baby

Children will use details of story to predict and create attributes for each character.


Lesson Plan:

  1. Have students, draw, paint or use downloaded character pictures (
  2. Have students use both written and picture clues from the book to create character profiles.
  3. After the children have learned more about each character, have them act out the story as a puppet shown or drama.


I love to make Gingerbread shaped cookies. When I make them for a classroom I actually use a sugar cookie recipe that I add brown food coloring too. Not many of the students I’ve taught like the taste of Gingerbread.

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