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Gingerbread and Cocoa Lesson Plan

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Sweet and Festive Learning

Run, Run, Run...

Straight toward holiday lesson planning!

The holidays are in full swing and it's the time of year where the classic holiday lesson plans are as packed as the stores. So much creativity and fun can be infused into learning with so much out there to inspire us. With a month to fill, I was dreaming of putting together awe-inspiring lesson plans for our homeschool studies, not sugar plums.

But just which thematic units were going to fill the mug?

A Sweet Pair

My love for gingerbread cookies runs as far as the Gingerbread Man. The spice, the snap, the childhood memories...mmmm! I couldn't stop at just gingerbread though, I had to pair it with the most delightful winter drink I look forward to each year, hot cocoa.

After all, they do make one sweet pair, why not explore them further and make an even sweeter lesson plan all about them?

So, with the tasty combination in mind, I began to pour all my ideas out, and onto paper to create a unique and engaging gingerbread and cocoa lesson plan.

You may not be able to catch the gingerbread man, but you can be sure to catch these fun learning activities from our gingerbread and cocoa unit.

So grab your favorite mug and let's fill it up with some great ideas!

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First, Prepare the Ingredients

... or books, in our case. With a study about gingerbread, a version of The Gingerbread Man

was a necessity. With so many out there though, which one to choose? Choose more than one! Choosing more versions of the classic story allowed us to compare and contrast the different stories. Once they had the differences identified, they then drew upon them to create the compare and contrast writing practice for the week. Here are a couple versions we used for The Gingerbread Man:

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
"The Gingerbread Man" by Eric Suben

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
"The Gingerbread Man" by Louise Martin


With all those gingerbread men on the loose, a gingerbread house may be of need! Include this lighthearted story all about the process of building a gingerbread house, and then have the kids create their own afterward.

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
"The Plan for the Gingerbread House" by Darcy Pattison

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
Her lovely gingerbread house, which unknowingly practiced patience, motor skills, and imagination!

Not to leave the cocoa out to chill though, add Cocoa Magic to the list of ingredients for the week. This beautiful story touches on empathy, generosity, and kindness, which creates a perfect medley for the week.

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
"Cocoa Magic" by Sandra Bradley


Next, Mix in the Fun

What compliments cocoa better than marshmallows? With our love of the pair, I had to create a fun game themed around it. With some cardboard, chalkboard paint, and glue, I had the makings of an exciting and engaging math game. Knowing marshmallows were on the line, my kids were eagerly awaiting their turn to add and subtract the mug math problems in order to earn marshmallows to toss in at the end.

Check out our Mallow in the Mug game in action!

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
"What Time Are The Cookies Done?" math game

With that gingerbread man rushing and running

about, time is of the essence- and a great math topic! Easy to prepare, this game saved me valuable time while having them practice their time telling skills. This festive activity used gingerbread men cutouts and analog clocks in order to match up digital times with the clocks. After playing this learning game, being able to tell what time the cookies are done will be a gingersnap!

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
"Gumdrop Buttons" Spelling Game

"Not the gumdrops buttons!"

Oh yes the gumdrops, but luckily for the gingerbread man, they aren't for eating in this over-sized spelling activity. Some colored paper circles and cardboard brought this learning game to sized, that is. My kids had the best time placing the lettered gumdrop buttons on the gingerbread man in order to practice their weekly spelling words. The correctly spelled words looked good enough to eat!


Then, Sip and Enjoy!

Add the enjoyment of them running their very own cocoa stand. Including this group project, had them setting prices, counting money, pouring fractions, and sipping their success, literally! Use a toy kitchen or allow them to use their problem solving skills to create their own cocoa stand.

The cocoa stand was open for business and I was ready!


Last, Get Ready For A Refill!

There is still so much to include with a fun thematic unit like this one, you may want to leave space for seconds. Be sure to add in the science by dissecting and experimenting with the topics. Science like the microwaving marshmallows experiment, and examining and studying the anatomy of ginger and the cocoa bean will immerse the kids in the study even further.

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
Labeling the anatomy of cocoa beans and ginger

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
Examining the ginger root

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
Using the sense of smell to explore ginger root

Gingerbread and Cocoa Unit
Marshmallows in the microwave experiment


Don't Run, Run, Run, Away Yet!

Find engaging and unique lesson plans HERE.

There's More Learning Activities, Creations, and Lesson Plans Here.


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