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Cherry Avenue Gingerbread Community on display

  • The glorious Gingerbread Community in the Cherry Avenue Elementary School lobby during the holiday season is more than just decoration. It comprises well-coordinated lessons for both the Third-graders in Mrs. Batterberry’s, Mrs. Falco’s, and Mrs. Fulton’s classes and the Kindergarteners in Mrs. Donnelly’s, Mrs. Flynn’s, and Mrs. Coyle’s classes.

    In third grade, the students are taught 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 use literature as a springboard (The Gingerbread Man and other titles) to do a thematic unit across the curriculum.

    They work on their 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, while social studies is the culminating 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!