Standard Lesson

Gingerbread Phonics

K - 2
Lesson Plan Type
Standard Lesson
Estimated Time
Four 15- to 45-minute sessions
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This lesson uses familiar words from The Gingerbread Man to help early readers learn letter–sound correspondence. Students begin with a teacher-conducted shared reading of the story. As students listen, they read the words in the refrain along with the teacher. After the third hearing of the story, students choose their favorite words from the story and identify the sounds that the letters make in the words. Students conclude the lesson by using the newly learned words in an online story of their own creation.

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

  • Context helps early readers make sense of print.

  • Familiar language is easier for earlier readers to comprehend than unfamiliar language.


This article summarizes some pertinent research regarding effective reading instruction.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Materials and Technology

  • The Gingerbread Man (any version)

  • Black marking pens

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Pocket chart

  • Sentence strips



1. Obtain your favorite version of the story The Gingerbread Man from the library.

2. Print the refrain from the story on sentence strips, one line per strip.
Run, run, as fast as you can.

You can't catch me,

I'm the gingerbread man.
3. Reserve time in the computer lab.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • Participate in a shared reading of the story, The Gingerbread Man

  • Be able to name words from the story

  • Be able to identify the sounds of letters in words from the story

  • Complete an online interactive reviewing the skill

  • Write a story to be published online

Instruction & Activities

1. On the first day of the activity, read the story The Gingerbread Man to the class. Allow students to respond to the events in the story. Encourage them to chime in during the refrain.

2. On the next day, read the story aloud again, encouraging students to read along with you. Then post the prepared sentence strips in a pocket chart. Read the story again, pointing to each word in the refrain as you read. Allow students to take turns pointing to the words in the refrain as they are being read.

3. Review the story one more time on the third day. Ask students to choose their favorite words from the story. Using a black marker, write each word on a separate piece of sentence strip while students are watching. As you print each word, draw attention to the beginning letter and the sound it makes. For example, when writing the word man say, "This is the word man and this letter says /m/." Trace the beginning letter with a marker to draw attention to it. Post these words on the wall or in a pocket chart.

4. To further reinforce letter-sound relationships, take students to the computer lab and have them access the online interactive Picture Match and click "beginning-letter sounds." In this activity, students match the beginning sound of a picture to a letter at the bottom of the screen. Make sure that they remember to print their picture matches when they are finished.

5. Finally, allow students to use the new words they have learned by creating an online story. Take students to the computer lab or have them work on classroom computers at designated times.

a. Be sure to obtain parent permission before having students publish their work online. You may want to print the Privacy Statement from the website Kids on the Net and provide copies for parents to review. Only first names, grade levels, and school names if provided will appear on the site. All other information is kept private.

b. Before beginning, write several of the new words learned from the story on the chalkboard. Review the words and explain to students that they will each have the opportunity to write a story using several of these words. Show them how to access the website Kids on the Net.

c. Have students click on the link "Submit your writing." On this page, each student fills out the form with his or her name, age, and grade. The other information requested is optional. For e-mail address, instruct students to type in your school e-mail address for privacy purposes.

d. After this information is entered, each student types a story in the space provided. Students might want to retell the story of The Gingerbread Man or create stories of their own. Encourage them to include at least one or two of the words on the chalkboard.

e. When students have completed their stories, have them click on "Send my writing" to submit their stories. You will be notified by e-mail when their stories appear on the website.


  • Highlight portions of words other than the initial letters. For example, in the word horse you might choose to highlight the letter s. In the word fast you might choose to highlight the letters st.

  • Access the Gingerbread Man Theme Unit (from Kidzone) for additional teacher-directed activities to accompany the story.

  • For more advanced practice with letter sounds, have student play Puzzle Me Words. In this game, students see a picture, hear the word aloud, and drag letters to spell the word. Start at the beginner level, focusing on one vowel sound at at time. Gradually challenge students to mix vowel sounds, and later try the advanced level.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Evaluate students' progress by observing participation during the shared reading activities.

  • Check students' ability to identify letter-sound correspondence by reviewing the printouts from the interactive Picture Match activity.

  • Review each student's online story, checking for the use of new words learned from the story.

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