Cherry Displays Annual Gingerbread Community

  • While always an impressive sight and site, the glorious Gingerbread Community in the Cherry Avenue Elementary School lobby during the holiday season is more than just decoration. It comprises well-coordinated civic lessons for both the Third-grade classes and the Kindergarten classes.

    For the Third-grade students, the lessons include facts about all kinds of communities such as the kinds of buildings found there, resources available, the differences between rural and urban, as well as mapping skills (i.e., cardinal directions).

    The Kindergarteners learn through literature (The Gingerbread Man and other titles) to do a thematic unit. First, they develop math skills by counting the candy with one-to-one correspondence, understanding the concept of more and less, and matching numerals. For reading skills, the Kindergarten lesson includes Venn-diagram comparisons of different versions of gingerbread stories, sequencing events, and choral reading. With writing, the Kindergarten students are asked to write a new ending to the story, with social studies as the final activity. The Kindergarteners discuss mapping, community helpers, and relationships with people and a society as they pertain to their Gingerbread Community.

    After such background preparations, the hands-on construction is done in a cooperative atmosphere with both grade levels working together. Building the new Gingerbread Community is "icing on the cake" that delights both the young and older students—and the results are an appetizing array of delicious-looking edifices!