Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Activities & Ideas: The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires

The Gingerbread Cowboy (ages 4-8) compliments The Cowboy & the Black-Eyed Pea.  Both are based on well-known fairy tales and have a cowboy/Texas theme.  The setting is a ranch on a desert plain.  As a result, some of the animals who make their homes there, such as the horned lizard, roadrunner, javelina, and coyote, are highlighted. 
Also, The Gingerbread Cowboy has some good similes and alliteration.  Even at a young age, you can discuss figurative language with children.  Maybe they won’t “get it” until they are older, but it doesn’t hurt to begin introducing the concept.  Besides, you might have a child or some children who understand the concept early.  For a while now, my 9 year old has been able to identify figurative language such as puns and similes.  He also understands ironies and parody.  Don’t be discouraged if they don’t get it, but don’t hesitate to talk about it early either. 
Extension Activities

  • See The Cowboy & the Black-Eyed Pea.  Many of those ideas would work here as well.
  • Read other versions of this story, such as Jan Bret’s beautifully illustrated The Gingerbread Baby or Gingerbread Friends and Eric Kimmel’s classic version The Gingerbread Man.  Use a Venn Diagram to record the similarities and differences.
  • Make and decorate gingerbread cookies, a gingerbread house, or other gingerbread recipe.
  • Research the setting (desert) and some of the animals in that habitat.

Activities From the Internet
DLTK Activities
Crafts, Recipes, & Activities
Five Day Theme Unit
Math Activities

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