I work at a literature based preschool with emphasis on play. Each week we focus on one title and tie in our math, science, art and sensory areas together using the book. Last week we read Gingerbread Baby and our classroom was all sugar and spice. One of our projects was gingerbread man science. Working with young threes is always interesting and their focus on our gingerbread experiments was really great!
We began with a gingerbread man cookie for each child and reflected on the story of the Gingerbread Baby. We discussed what would happen if the gingerbread baby had fallen in the water instead of floating on the ice. After each child made a prediction, he or she could choose to have their gingerbread man jump into the water or not. Observations were made and conclusions were written down. The children used the word melting. I gave them the word dissolved.
The children also made predictions regarding their cookies and a rolling pin. We talked about how the dough is like playdough and is soft and maleable before it is bakes but hard after. The children talked about the textures and sounds their cookies made when crunched with a rolling pin (and with their teeth when they got to eat a cookie).
We had been playing with gingerbread spiced cloud dough and the children wanted to introduce into their experiments. We decided that the cloud dough could be pretend snow and made estimates on how many scoops it would take to cover their crunched cookies. Children made guesses and corrected their numbers if they needed more or less scoops. It was really pretty great and we wrote it all out and returned to our findings often.