Gingerbread House Day: Books & Coding & Challenge, Oh my!

Gingerbread House Day is observed annually on December 12.

Gingerbread was a favorite food of an Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis. Gregory brought gingerbread to Europe around 992 AD and taught French Christians to bake it. Gingerbread was often used in religious ceremonies and was baked to be sturdy as it was often molded into images of saints.

Gingerbread houses gained popularity after the Brothers Grimm published Hansel and Gretel in 1812. You can find this story in the library @398.2 GRI! In the story of Hansel and Gretel, the wicked witch’s house was made of gingerbread and was adorned with candy… a tantalizing treat to the lost, hungry brother and sister.

It didn’t take long for the German gingerbread merchants to pick up the idea and put it to a more festive use by making snowy cottages made from the spicy-sweet treat!

Listen to another popular gingerbread story….
Gingerbread Baby written and illustrated by Jan Brett

A young boy and his mother bake a gingerbread baby that escapes from their oven and leads a crowd on a wild chase similar to the one in the familiar tale of the not-so-clever gingerbread man.

Gingerbread Coding:

With a partner, cut out the map pieces found HERE.

Partner 1: Place the pieces on your Gingerbread Coding Map and build a path from your Gingerbread Man or Woman to the Gingerbread House. Place 2 Treats and 1 Enemy along the path on the Gingerbread Coding Mat.
Partner 2: Draw and write the block code that will lead your Gingerbread Person to his or her Gingerbread House. Use this sheet to record your Block Code answer.

Gingerbread Challenge: 

Your team has been hired by a local bakery to help with the holiday orders. Your team is to build  the tallest possible gingerbread house while following the customer’s specific holiday order. In order to be successfull, your team should review the customer’s requirements below: 

Teams must use entire content of brown paper bag. 

Each gingerbread house must use the supplied plate as the foundation.   No gingerbread house foundation may be larger (lengthwise or widthwise) than the provided plate.
Each story of all gingerbread houses must have walls and a floor. Each gingerbread house must have a roof.

Each gingerbread house must contain at least 6 colored, decorations.

Suggestions for success:
Draw a model of your gingerbread house. Discuss a stategy for building the house? What will you do if your team’s strategy does not work? Remember, to review the customer’s requirements! Winner will be declared for meeting all 6 requirements and for being the tallest.




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