I teach a class of 5th/6th grade girls every Wednesday night at my church. For a special treat, I decided to do something that I’ve never done before. I’ve been teaching the class for years, so it can be easy for me to fall into a routine. Last night we had a gingerbread house decorating contest. It was a lot of fun to watch the girls. They were very loud and had a bad case of the giggles as they went to work. The overall result was a great even though at times I was worried what the state of the houses, their hands, the floor and the tables would be when it was finished.
I found these gingerbread house as at Costco and they were pre-built so all the girls had to do was decorate. I figured the biggest meltdowns would happen if the girls were assembling the houses and they couldn’t get them to stay up. This removed that worry. This set also included a gingerbread cookie tree, so it allowed for another piece to create. More pieces means more girls can get involve and all have a part. This kit was perfect for what I needed.
The girls had a lot of assembling them. We divided the class up into two teams – so five girls per team. There was a definite winner once the decorating was over. The girls were judged by my co-teacher and myself on many elements. The first was how well they did as a team. It’s important that they shared the roles and that everyone got a chance to be a part. The next element was how much candy did they use. One team used all their supplies, the other team didn’t. We also judged based on focus and volume level. One team was a little out of control and made me very nervous a couple of times. Both teams did a great job. They had a lot of fun and the room was remarkably clean once it was all said and done. The only moment of true worry came when my co-teacher, Aimee, was trying to get the houses to fit in the garbage can. She was using the stomp-the-trash-down approach when the trash can came out from under her and she was down flat on the hard floor in the blink of an eye. I was very concerned that she was injured… possibly a concussion or a broken tailbone, but she insisted that she’s okay. Hopefully she’s not feeling the effects of the fall today! Poor thing!
I had a 4th grader ask me, when she saw the boxes of gingerbread houses waiting in my office, if we would be doing this next year when she was in my class. I told her this was an experiment and we’d see how the class tonight did. If it was too scary or messy, I told her probably not, but if it all went well, possibly yes. After trying it last night, I would say that this will definitely be something I bring back next year. The girls had too much fun not to do it again! Here are some pictures from the wild and crazy night!