Building Bridges - Gingerbread Style

For the past few years, we have completed our Gingerbread unit during the month of December. I find that this is a perfect time of the year to read this story.  It is wonderful for so many literary standards but this year I wanted to try something new.

I came up with this project based challenge.  What if the Gingerbread had to cross the river without the help of the fox?

We discussed what might the Gingerbread do to get across.  Some students thought it could swim.  But, after some discussion, students discovered that the Gingerbread would crumble.  Finally, a student suggested that the Gingerbread could get across if there was a bridge.

We began the work of building a bridge for the Gingerbread.   We used 20 linker cubes, mini marshmallows, and this type of spaghetti.  Students worked in pairs to create a bridge.  They needed to talk with one another and create a bridge which would hold the Gingerbread.  As a teacher, it was very interesting watching students work together.  Some were able to easily collaborate whereas other groups struggled a bit more though the process.

In the first picture, the students decided to string the marshmallow through the spaghetti.  Then, they added it to the towers of linker cubes. Genius!  In the third and fourth pictures, the marshmallows are the base and support the weight of the linker cubes.

After building their bridge, the students had to show me how the Gingerbread would cross the river.  I was able to capture this on video.  Here is a brief video sample of one.   I loved how this activity required the students to think, talk, and create; all Common Core!

Finally, just in case you need a few more books.  Here is a great sample of different versions of the Gingerbread story to add to your collection.

Happy Holidays!
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  1. I love your bridge projects! What a great way to incorporate Common Core learning with the fun of the Gingerbread Man!

    A Very Curious Class

  2. This is a wonderful STEM project! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love this! I tried the marshmallow/spaghetti tower STEM project with my class. They had fun but weren't successful in building towers. This will be a great project for them!
    First Grade Found Me


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