Friday, November 30, 2012

An Old Tradition with a Local Twist

Instead of the traditional gingerbread house we create log cabins, complete with sod roofs (frosted mini wheats), and outhouses! I've been doing this for years in my classroom and with my family, thanks to the idea from a great teacher and mentor. It is a great way to celebrate community. In the classroom, right after Thanksgiving,  I would send out a letter asking for parents to donate the materials and to save the date. Parents were invited in to come in and build these with us. In the past we've invited our buddy class and their families or we've extended a welcome to one of the special education classes and their families. We'd always have Charlie Brown Christmas music playing softly in the background and cocoa. Now that my oldest is almost 4, we've begun the tradition at home. My mom and niece recently visited us, from Rhode Island, for the week of Turkey Day. This is what we created.

List of Materials:
  • Rod Pretzels
  • Frosting - we found an egg free royal icing recipe off the web - basically confectionery sugar, water & cream of tartar.
  • Graham crackers
  • Frosted Mini-wheats
  • Writing Icing
  • Cardboard wrapped w/ tin foil
  • Assorted candies and cake decorations
  • Small milk carton - used to provide interior structure for the cabin
Content Areas: Science - Structures, Social Studies - dwellings, Art - architecture, design, Literacy - so many great books to tie this in with at all reading levels from Call of the Wild to the Cabin that Moose Built.

Live outside of Alaska? How could you put a local twist on the gingerbread house tradition? We discussed what a Rhode Island version would look like with our guests. We thought the shape of the house would be the traditional Cape, with things like a lobster pot in the yard.