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Lesson Plans
Gingerbread Graphing


  • Students will create a picture graph and interpret the data on the graph.
  • Students will use verbal clues and reasoning skills to solve riddles.
Materials Materials Needed

For the Gingerbread Man hunt:
  1. Work with other teachers and staff to set up a Gingerbread Man hunt around your school!
  2. Print out the Gingerbread Man Hunt clues. Distribute clues 2–6 to the teachers and staff in the clue locations. Explain that students will come to them for the clues, and they should pretend to have just seen the Gingerbread Man!
  3. Place the gingerbread cookies in the final location—the cafeteria or other eating area. (If you do not want to use real cookies, you can print and precut paper cookies using the Gingerbread Man Cookies reproducible.)
  4. Tape the first clue onto the cookie sheet and cover it with the kitchen towel. Set it aside.

For the graphing activities:
  1. On chart paper, draw a graph with three columns. Along the bottom, label the columns from left to right: “Head,” “Arm,” and “Leg.” Title the graph “Which Part of the Gingerbread Man Did You Bite First?”
  2. Print copies of the Gingerbread Man Cookies reproducible. Cut out one paper cookie for each student. (If you decide to distribute paper cookies instead of real cookies at the end of the hunt, students can use those for the graphing activity.)
  3. Print the Gingerbread Man template and reproduce it onto brown tagboard or construction paper. You will need one for each student.

Introduction Introduction

Read aloud The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth.

After the story, tell students that you have prepared a Gingerbread Man cookie for them to eat. (If you are not using real cookies, tell students you have made a paper cookie for them to use in a special math project.) Then take out the covered cookie sheet and pull off the towel. Act surprised as you announce, “Oh no, our Gingerbread Man has run away! Look, he left a note for us to read!” Read the clue aloud to students.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Invite students to guess where the Gingerbread Man has gone. Lead students on a hunt around your school, asking for clues and following them to each location. Encourage students to listen to each clue and solve the riddle.
  2. When you have discovered the cookies at the end of the hunt, give each student one. Once students have had a chance to take a bite, challenge them to remember which part of the cookie they ate first. (If you are using paper cookies, you can ask students which part they would eat first if it were a real cookie.)
  3. Back in your classroom, display the graph you drew on the chart paper. Give each student a paper cookie, and prompt students to tear off the part they ate first.
  4. Instruct students to tape their cookie in the correct column on the graph.
  5. Have students look at the graph and use it to answer questions, such as:
    • How many students bit the head first? How many more bit a leg first?
    • Which part of the cookie did the fewest students eat first?
    • Which part of the cookie did the most students eat first?
Extension Activity Extension Activity

  1. Give each student a Gingerbread Man template. Encourage students to cut it out and draw a face on it.
  2. Invite each student to choose three “buttons” for their gingerbread man—three pom-poms, three jewels or three collage buttons. (Make sure students don’t mix and match!) Have students glue on the buttons.
  3. Have students make a picture graph on a bulletin board. Prompt them to hang the gingerbread men in three rows, according to the type of buttons used.
  4. Invite students to analyze the graph by asking questions, such as:
    • Which category has the most gingerbread men?
    • Which has the fewest?
    • How many more gingerbread men have pom-poms than jewels?

View the preschool–kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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