Saturday, December 10, 2016

Xmas2016: Gingerbreadman with Theodore

Day 10 and we are going to Salamis for a STEAM project with my dear friend and colleague, Theodore Lalos.

Christmas Holidays are just a few weeks away and a dear but very naughty and mischievous elf approached me and requested a custom made present to be delivered prior to the end of the year. Thus, without any delay, I gathered all my strength and creativity only to come up with a very familiar Festive tradition…that of baking Gingerbread Men!

However, my baking technique is far more eccentric than the original one. This baking recipe doesn’t resemble at all the mouthwatering one which allows little ones to be enchanted by those golden brown gingerbread men and their cinnamon smell.

There’s no just observation and no participation. Sorry my little folks, but you need to get messy this time!

So, let’s get a bit serious now and explore the purpose of this post…


  • To encourage learners to hypothesise and experiment in order to make observations and conclude on the best amount of bake time 

  • To raise cultural awareness on this Festive tradition.

  • To review primary, secondary and tertiary colours.  

    Language Aims:

ü To review shapes and colours.

ü To encourage learners to use exponents that express the following functions of language: hypothesising and drawing a conclusion.

This activity is suitable for elementary and pre-intermediate level learners.


ü Worksheet / Handout – Baking a Gingerbread Man

ü Some pics of gingerbread products

ü Plastic cups

ü Self-raising flour

ü Food dyes (only the primary colours)

ü Stirrers

ü Some salt


ü Microwave oven


1.   Lead-in:

T shows some pictures of gingerbread products and invites learners to share their experiences.

Aim: To activate schemata, assess learners’ awareness on gingerbread products

2.   Research

T asks learners to find out more about this Festive tradition by searching the Net for more information.

Things to look for: places where such products can be found, on what occasions we bake them, what ingredients comprise the recipe etc.

Aim: to raise learners’ awareness on the Festive tradition, aid autonomy and expose learners to authentic and native language use

3.   Worksheet

T presents the worksheet and informs learners that they are about to bake their own gingerbread men. To do so, they need to produce their own puffy paint (self-raising flour, a pinch of salt, some drops of food dye and some water…stir until the mixture is soft).

In this stage, T will assess learners’ knowledge of mixing colours together to make secondary and tertiary colours.

Furthermore, T will ask learners to think which must be done first…The shapes or the rest of the gingerbread man’s body. Get learners to hypothesise what will happen if the puffy paint covers first the body of the gingerbread man. (It will expand and cover the designated spaces of the shapes, thus it would be wiser to cover the shapes with puffy paint first).

Allow learners to decorate the shapes with the puffy paint of their preference and then put them in the microwave.

Another chance to get learners to hypothesise, observe, gather data and draw a conclusion.

T explains that the microwave has been set to the highest wave frequency, the problem is for how long are they supposed to bake the worksheet.

Learners make predictions (10sec, 20 sec, 30 sec etc.) and check by experimenting.

4.   Baked Gingerbread Man

Review the observations and postulate a principle. Then, take a picture of those puffy, golden brown and crispy gingerbread men.

Worksheet over here

Enjoy your holidays! Merry Christmas!!!

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