The Gingerbread Man Goes Around the World
Learn how other countries and cultures tell stories using the Gingerbread Man theme.

Charlotte McGovern

Table of Contents:
Many Cultures, Many Versions
Resources You'll Need
    • Recommended Book List
    • Bulletin Board Ideas
    • Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
    • Gingerbread Babies Template
    • Gingerbread Man Booklet - Cover
    • Gingerbread Man Coloring Page
    • Felt Board, Puppets and Story Board Templates
    • Gingerbread Girl Templates
    • Fold and Cut Gingerbread Doll Chains
Art Lessons
    • Creative Arts
    • Make Puppets
Math Lessons
    • Measuring and Counting
    • Take a Survey and Make a Graph!
Language Arts Lessons
    • Listening - Read Aloud with Puppets
    • Sequencing
    • Following Directions
    • Writing
Audio Podcast Gingerbread Man
    • Listening - Podcast with Story Text for Printing
Create Projects Like This One!
Multicultural Stories around Themes
Cajun Gingerbread Boy
El Hombre Pan de Jengebre
Folk Tales
Gingerbread Cowboy
Gingerbread Man
Matzah Man
Musubi Man
Runaway Cowboy
Runaway Latkes
Runaway Pancake
Runaway Tortilla
Focus Content Area:
English/Language Arts

Secondary Content Area:
History/Social Science
Fine Arts
Grade Level:


This project is a K-2, learner-centered, thematic unit introducing children to the classic Gingerbread Man theme including stories from around the world. As you read these stories, children will learn about the cultures of different countries.


          The Gingerbread Man in Nice, France

This project was developed with a friend of the author, a recently retired primary teacher, Carolyn French. She was looking for a way to share some of the wonderful teaching units she had developed over the years.  Her project-based learning philosophy is reflected in the activities presented here. We hope you enjoy using them with your students. We recommend using Firefox as your browser with this project.



Many Cultures, Many Versions:

The theme in the classic folktale, Gingerbread Man, has universal appeal.  Below are versions of the story as told in different countries as well as other English language variations.  These different versions provide a great opportunity for cross-cultural activities. Check out the links below for more information. To purchase any of our recommended books from Amazon go to our Book List.

The Runaway Latkes (video and more)

Kolobak, The Rolling Pin  (Russian folklore)

Matzo Ball Boy  (activities for)

Runaway Rice Cake (lesson ideas from Learning to Give)

Runaway Tortilla (ideas for classroom use by the author - in pdf format)

Gingerbread Cowboy (summary and lesson ideas - in Word format)

Musubi Man (Hawaiian version with compare and contrast activities)

Resources You'll Need:

Recommended Book List

There are 8 pages of listings on this page. (See bottom of list for page numbers.)

Bulletin Board Ideas

 Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe


Gingerbread Cookies

bullet2/3 cup shortening
bullet1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
bullet1 tsp cinnamon
bullet1/4 tsp ground cloves
bullet2 tsp ground ginger
bulletpinch salt
bullet3/4 cup molasses
bullet1 egg
bullet3 cups flour
bullet1/2 tsp baking powder
bullet1 tsp baking soda

Cream together first 6 ingredients.  Add egg and mix.   Add molasses and mix again. 

Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl.  Sift.  Add to the creamed mixture and stir until well blended.  Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Roll out dough 1/4 at a time to 1/8" thickness or slightly thicker on a lightly floured board.  Cut with a cookie cutter and transfer to a greased (or non stick) cookie sheet. 

Repeat with remaining dough.  Before baking, decorate with raisins as you like.

Place in oven for 8 - 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack

Decorate with icing, m&m's, chocolate chips or any other items you wish.


Gingerbread Babies Template

Gingerbread babies printable template

Gingerbread Man Booklet - Cover

 Gingerbread Booklet Cover

Gingerbread Man Coloring Page


gingerbread man printable template

Felt Board, Puppets and Story Board Templates

Gingerbread Man Story - Visual Aids - Click on the link below.

Felt Board, Puppet & Story Board Templates

Gingerbread Girl Templates

Gingerbread Girl Template (Large)

Gingerbread Girl Template (Medium)

Gingerbread Girl Template (Small)

Fold and Cut Gingerbread Doll Chains



Fold and Cut Gingerbread Doll Chains

Gingerbread Men

bullet Cut the bottom off a paper bag and slit up one size.  This will give you a very long piece of brown paper (you could use a regular piece of paper, but your chain won’t be as long).
bullet Cut a  5 inch wide strip out of the paper (as long as you can make it) and accordian fold it (back and forth, back and forth).  Make the folds the width or a bit less than the template pieces.
bullet Trace the template piece onto the top fold (see below).
bullet Cut out (don’t cut the ends of arms or feet or your chain will fall apart!)
bullet Unfold your chain and decorate with markers, paints, wiggly eyes, sequins, bits of lace, wool and ribbon or anything else you have on hand. 

Close the template window after printing to return to this screen. 


Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers). 


Template in color

Template in black & white

Print friendly version of these instructions


Art Lessons:

Creative Arts

Creative Arts/Following Directions:

bullet Provide the children with a Gingerbread Man Template.
bullet Ask the children to imagine what a modern gingerbread man might look. like
bullet Have them decorate and color their modern gingerbread man.
bullet You may want to provide some magazine clippings of modern clothes or some shiny stickers to help them decorate their gingerbread man.  

Make Puppets

Print out the templates below.  Have children color them.   Attach popsicle sticks, tongue depressors or straws to make puppets.

Old Man and Gingerbread Man

Cow and Old Woman

Horse and Dog

Fox and Pig

Oven and Cottage

Math Lessons:

Measuring and Counting

After children have made their paper gingerbread babies prepare a number of things for them to measure using their babies -- Have students write down their answers.

For example:


Math-CC.K.4. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
Math-CC.K.5. Count to answer ďhow many?Ē questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1Ė20, count out that many objects.
Measurement & Data
Describe and compare measurable attributes.
MATH-MD.K.1. Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
MATH-MD.K.2. Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has \"more ofĒ/ďless ofĒ the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.

Take a Survey and Make a Graph!

1. Mount a gingerbread cookie man template on the chalkboard Gingerbread Man Template.  Have the children identify and label the parts as follows:

2. Pass out the Gingerbread Man cookies you made with your students.  Ask them to choose the part they would like to eat first.  Have them right it down or circle it on a labeled handout.

3. After or while the cookies are being eaten assist each child in taking the "Eating a Gingerbread Man Cookie Survey"
below, recording which cookie part they chose to eat first. (If possible, use your classroom computer with a projection screen so everyone can watch the results being recorded.)

4. To see the results of your survey comes to life view the bar graph before, during and after each recording.

Language Arts Lessons:

Listening - Read Aloud with Puppets

Have each student make a puppet using the Gingerbread Man Puppet Templates.  Depending on class size there will be several made of the same puppet.

ELA-S&L.K.2. Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
ELA-S&L.K.5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.


Sequencing....What is it?

Arrange a series of picture cards in logical order to create the story from beginning to end.

This gives the children the chance to demonstrate and reinforce their recollection of the story.

Gingerbread Man Story Sequencing Cards

Follow this link to print color sequencing cards and get ideas for activities.
Gingerbread Man Story Sequencing

Baking Cookies Sequencing Cards

Follow this link to print these color sequencing cards.

Baking Cookies Sequencing Cards

ELA-RL.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

Following Directions

Gingerbread Man Hunt
When the class makes gingerbread men at school, use the leftover dough to make a large gingerbread man (the size of a cookie sheet) and cover him with plastic wrap. While the children are out of the classroom, hide the gingerbread man and leave notes around the school (youíll probably need an accomplice).  To help entice the children you can drop flour along the way. Here are some sample poems to use for your hunt around the school.

Poem Left in the Classroom
Iíve left home to look for a snack,
And I bet youíll never get me back!
Look for me where there are lots of books!

Media Center
Iíve read lots of books,
But Iím gone, canít you see?
Iím a gingerbread man and you canít catch me!
Look for me by a friendly face who answers phones in a busy place.

The secretaries have a friendly face,
And answer phones in a busy place.
Find me by the leader(s) of our school.

Principalís Office
These are the principalís offices.
Theyíre nice, you know.
They told me not to run anymore,
But to walk, wherever I go.
Go find me where we eat together.

This is the lunchroom.
These friends like us a bunch,
And always make sure we have a good lunch.
Iím getting a bit tired as you can see,
Room ___ is where Iíll be!

Classroom (Homeroom)
Iíve run and run and I need some rest.
I think this room is the best!

adapted from:

ELA-S&L.K.2. Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
ELA-S&L.K.3. Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.


Children will make a book in the shape of a gingerbread (boy or girl) cookie. For one cover per child use the booklet cover template . Print out one lined writing page template per child adding the following fill-in-the-blanks story (or another of your creation).

If I were a gingerbread _____________, I would run to ______________. If a fox asked me to jump on his back I would _____________. Being a gingerbread ________ would be __________. I hope no one would ___________________________.


Audio Podcast Gingerbread Man:

Listening - Podcast with Story Text for Printing

Audio of the Gingerbread Man RSSPodcast:

Text Version of the Audio


Create Projects Like This One!:

I used My eCoach to develop this project because of its user friendly Universal Builder with its many very cool tools.  I was able to easily create this website which includes a survey for people to take that produces instant results in graph form.  This was far better than  another option I considered, using wikis and Ning. In addition I quickly uploaded a podcast using the "Insert Audio/Video button in the Universal Builder’s text editor. All these features are included in Lifetime and Team Memberships. You also may have notice that I embedded a ClustrMap to view site visitor locations. The real bonus came when I needed help.  My coach, Barbara, was available to answer all my questions.  Coaching comes with membership!

If you would like to begin creating a project of your own or
to see how eCoach fits your needs join now for a lifetime membership or use this contact form for more information.