This story play is very popular with my students! I love Jan Brett’s books, so I was excited to create a story play for, “Gingerbread Baby”. This form of storytelling has become a passion of mine because of the reaction I get from students. They are so excited and captivated while watching. It has created a love for these books and greater interest in retelling stories independently. Although I present in kindergarten, I have also included a printable worksheet for primary grades as an accompaniment to the video. (Link at bottom of page. )
I start my presentation by setting up all of my props. Once they are set up, I ask students to make predictions what they think that our story play is going to be about. I encourage them to use the word ‘because’ when they explain so that they fully explain their thinking and other children hear their full explanation. (i.e. I think the story will be about a bunch of animals playing together and their adventures because I see a pig and goat.)
I used a simple white sheet as the base/ground for my story. In the book, the story takes place during the winter, but a green sheet for grass would work. I made all of the characters (gingerbread baby, cat, dog, fox) from felt and then attached it to a long stick so that I could move them almost like a puppet. (I changed some of the wording of the story (and left a bit out) because of the logistics of recreating it as a story play.)
The oven is simply made from an old box, but details are added to make it look like an oven. I also attached a few red finger lights on the inside so that when the oven is turned on in the story, I simply turn the finger light on.
The gingerbread baby’s house was a favourite for students. Overall, I feel that the story lends itself well to be presented as a story play. Although I presented to a group of kindergarten kids, I have presented to primary grades in the past. The printable worksheet also allows for some higher learning and reflection for older children.
(For another favourite story play, “Alfie’s Long Winter” by Grey McEvoy click here.)
As an extension activity, I handed out a ball of gingerbread play dough to students. They then had the opportunity to play and create their own gingerbread baby.