Hansel & Gretel


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.thevirtualvine.com 2003


Hansel and Gretel ~ Dom DeLuise

Hansel and Gretel ~ James Marshall

Hansel and Gretel ~ The Brothers Grimm

Hansel and Gretel ~ Rika Lesser

(tune: Mickey Mouse Tune)

Gingerbread, Gingerbread.

We are making gingerbread we're as happy as can be.

For Christmas Day is coming and we'll have a baking spree.

Peek into our kitchen, be as quiet as can be.

We're cooking up a secret, It's a house as you can see.
Gingerbread, echo (Gingerbread)
Gingerbread, echo (Gingerbread)

We make it and we bake it, Oh, it's fun!
Peek inside the kitchen, be as quiet as can be.

We're cooking up a secret, it's a house as you can see.

~ Author Unknown


Gingerbread House: Begin by giving each student a generous portion of stiff icing on a sturdy plate.  Then give them 4 graham crackers and have them stick them in the icing vertically to form the 4 walls of their house.  Help them to "glue" the corners of the walls together with more icing.  You can either put the icing into cake decorating bags or try using a ziploc bag with the corner cut out.  Once the walls are in place, then they add the roof.  Allow this to dry, then decorate with candy.


Royal Icing:
Another Gingerbread House:  An easier way to make a gingerbread house might be to start with a pint size milk carton as a base.  (An even faster but non-eatible way is to hotglue the crackers to the carton) Empty and wash out the carton.  Staple or tape the top closed.  Add a dab of icing to the bottom of the carton to secure it to a sturdy plastic type plate.  (We turned our plate upside-down so that it was more of a platform and had to lip to work around.) Use the icing to glue the graham crackers to the carton to form the walls of the house and the roof.  ( 3 full size graham crackers broken in half (not fourths) ... 4 pieces for the walls and 2 for the roof)  You may have to really stress to the children NOT to break the crackers apart.  For some reason, mine kept doing this and it makes the walls of the house not so smooth looking.  Use the icing to fill in the cracks at the corners.  Then decorate using M&Ms, peppermint rounds and tiny peppermint candy canes, Skittles, Fruit Loops, Life Savers, etc.  You can use a Hershey's Kiss for a chimney.


If you'd like a shingle type roof, you can also "glue" on spoon size Shredded Wheat squares to shingle the roof.  Very cute!  Frosted Mini Wheats give you a snow covered roof. We covered ours with Fruit Loops (in the model) and they're cute, also.  They give it a lot of color. You can use a Hersey's Kiss for a chimney.


After you're finished, spread more icing on the plate around the house for snow or use flaked coconut.  Create a walkway with peppermint stepping stones or line it with peppermint sticks.  If the plate is big enough, you can turn a sugar cone upside down and cover it with green icing for a tree and then decorate it with M&Ms or Skittles.


Sequencing: After making the gingerbread houses my children dictated the steps of how to create a gingerbread house to me. We had about 5 fairly simple steps. I wrote these steps on sentence strips and we put them in order in the pocketchart. After reviewing them several times, I scrambled them and they had to tell me how to get them back in the correct order. They did pretty well, only getting one step out of order, but they were able to find their mistake and correct it.


How To Make a Gingerbread House


Get a milk carton

Put icing all over the milk carton.

Stick the milk carton to a plate.

Cover the milk carton with brown crackers.

Decorate the house.


For my students who are reading and working on sequencing sentences, I typed up the sentences above and printed them out.  After many rereadings in the pocketchart with the whole class, I have these students read the sentences on their paper to me.  Then I cut up their paper into sentence strips and mix up the strips.  They read the sentences, put them back in the correct order and glue them onto a piece of construction paper.


Canned Icing:  Add cream of tartar to canned frosting to stiffen it if you'd rather use that than the Royal Icing.


Here is a quick and easy gingerbread recipe.  The mixing and the baking are done in a 5-ounce paper cup.  The finished product will be a cup of gingerbread, not a gingerbread cookie.  This recipe is from Cup Cooking.

Preheat electric frying pan to 400.  Place 3 tablespoons of gingerbread mix in a paper cup.  Add one tablespoon of water to the cup.  Stir well.  Bake at 400, 15 minutes, or until done.

*Betty Crocker Gingerbread Mix has about 54 Tablespoons of gingerbread mix in the package.

Patterning:  Use candies that you'd use to decorate the gingerbread house to create patterns during Math time.  Ex.

big candycane, little candycane

right-side-up candycane, upside-down candycane

candycane, peppermint

red gumdrop, yellow gumdrop


gumdrop, pretzel


Sorting:  As a Center activity, provide a ziploc bag with an assortment of different candies.  Have students sort the candy according to type, color, or texture (hard/soft).


Toasty Gingerbread House: Toast one and one-half slices of bread for each student.  Leave one slice whole and cut the second slice in half diagonally.  Spread both pieces with peanut butter.  Place the diagonally cut piece at the top of the whole piece.  This should form the house (the half piece is the roof).  Then use raisins and other types of candy to decorate.  If you soften and whip cream cheese, you might be able to squeeze it from a freezer ziploc bag that's had the corner snipped off to decorate the house.  This is just an idea that I came up with, but haven't tried.  You could also use canned cheese spread as well.  This doesn't sound too appetizing, but as we all know, if it looks good the kids will eat almost anything! :)


Retelling: After many rereading, walk your students through retelling the story.  I always go first on this one because I want the children to see that you can add your own words and experiences to the story and that you don't have to tell the story just like it is in the book.  This helps to break the ice with them and you'll have more volunteers to start the retelling.  First I tell the story using the pictures in the book.  I flip to each page and tell the story up to the point in the picture.  After I finish, then I let the students take turns doing the same.  Some will get carried away and do more than one page, but that's OK to. :) 

Next, I tell them we're going to retell the story without the pictures.  And again, I go first.  Then I ask for volunteers.  We did this yesterday and one of my K students did a wonderful job retelling the story without the pictures.  Yeah!

Discussion:  Were Hansel and Gretel just wicked children who victimized a poor old woman?  Let your students decide.


Counting: I purchased gingerbread houses and programmed each with a number 1 - 20 and laminated them.  Students count manipulatives onto each house to match the number.  In this picture we were using mini snowflake erasers.  We also use colorful round erasers as well.  You can also use individually wrapped peppermint discs.


 click on image to enlarge



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last updated 11.24.09


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