A lot of SUGAR and a little SPICE!

Has it really been 6 days since I have blogged last? Time is just flying by! Sorry I didn't ever get back to you about our gingerbread fun, I will definitely be doing that now! I am finally on Christmas break and it could not have come at a better time. With all the sadness and fear surrounding the past few weeks, having some time to appreciate those I love most is a perfect way to end this year! And in order to celebrate my fantastic and amazing TPT and Blog followers, I am throwing a 3-day sale starting today and ending on December 26th. Please enjoy 20% off of all holiday items in my store! Just click the picture below to take you there!

I just had to share this beautiful family picture! We took this in my friends backyard and we were so excited with how it came out! We used Walgreens photo center and had it blown up onto a framed canvas to give to our parents for Christmas. I was super impressed that we managed to get one where all the dogs were looking. Also, there were ants biting me the entire time so thankfully I managed to smile!!

 Anyway, let's get down to business! I created a large gingerbread house outside of our room and the kids just went crazy over it! My mom found the adorable gold candies at Michaels. They were originally $25 a piece! OUTRAGEOUS! Luckily there were on sale and we got them for under $5 a piece! Woo hoo!

 We started our gingerbread fun by reading 6 different versions of the classic "Gingerbread Man" story. We created a Gingerbread Story Comparison chart and compared the elements from each story, including the: title, characters, setting, refrain, and ending. To snag your copy for next year while it's on SALE, click the picture below!

 We also graphed our favorite version! The graph parts are also included in the download above.
After reading the stories, we had to make gingerbread cookies of our own! The kids mixed all the dough and used cookie cutters that I found at Walmart. We brought them over to the cafeteria to bake. After a little while, we went back to get them and the cafeteria staff explained that they had opened the oven and our gingerbread men had escaped! We went around the entire school asking everyone if they had seen them. A fellow teacher saw them run past her room and the office staff said that we just missed them. We went back to our room and planned to set a trap to catch them. The kids brainstormed and came up with the idea to use gumdrops as bait. We set a trail leading to a jar and left to go home for the night.

The next day when we got to school, we saw that our trap had worked! We had caught the gingerbread men!! The best part was decorating them. YUM!

 Our sweet little Sprinkles the elf also had a delicious treat for us. A homemade gingerbread house!

The next day, we did a funtastic lesson from Deanna Jump's Gingerbread Man Fun Unit. The kids each took only one bite from their gingerbread cookie and put it down. They each received a cute picture that showed a gingerbread man with a bite in the same spot they had bitten. We graphed our results and found that most people bit either the leg or the head first!

 As a culminating activity, we did a gingerbread science experiment. Our key question was: 'What would have happened to the gingerbread man if he had tried to swim across the lake?' After making predictions in their Science Smarts notebooks, each group placed a gingerbread man into the 'lake'. We drew and wrote about our observations at different time intervals. I was so surprised that they didn't dissolve quicker. Must be all the preservatives they put in! Even after 72 hours, they still held their shape. Gross.....

 After 72 hours, I let the kids poke them (which I think was their favorite part of the entire experiment). They separated a bit, but still stayed in big chunks. Not at all like I predicted! And with that, it was the weekend and almost the last week of school. My next post will be allll about our Polar Express week. We had so. much. FUN. Can't wait to share it with you! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

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