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Deconstructing the Gingerbread Man

Turn this holiday treat into a fun science lesson!

I got this idea from the NY Botanical Garden. It currently has a Gingerbread Man theme in their Children’s Adventure Garden.  My kids adored it! There’s a gingerbread house to play in, books, and all sorts of hands on activities.  My favorite part of the garden was what I named: “Gingerbread Man Deconstructed”. The kids loved going to all the stations and using their senses to describe the ingredients that go into a gingerbread cookies.  Each kid got a notebook to write their observations and glue in the ingredients. I thought the idea was brilliant. Here’s what we learned… after the jump!

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  • What part of the plant do cloves come from? 1 of 10
    What part of the plant do cloves come from?
    Root, Stem, Seed, Bark, Flower, or Leaf?
  • Flower 2 of 10
    Flower
    Who knew that this dull brown spice was once a bright red flower?
  • What part of the plant does the sugar come from? 3 of 10
    What part of the plant does the sugar come from?
    Root, Stem, Seed, Flower, or Leaf?
  • Stem 4 of 10
    Stem
    Sugar cane can grow six to nineteen feet tall. That's a lot of sugar!
  • What part of the plant does cinnamon come from? 5 of 10
    What part of the plant does cinnamon come from?
    Root, Stem, Seed, Bark, Flower, or Leaf?
  • Bark 6 of 10
    Bark
    If you look closely at a cinnamon stick you will see that it's made from long pieces of bark that are rolled, pressed, and dried.
  • What part of the plant does ginger come from? 7 of 10
    What part of the plant does ginger come from?
    Root, Stem, Seed, Bark, Flower, or Leaf?
  • Stem 8 of 10
    Stem
    I thought it was root too! But if you look closely at the picture, you'll see that it's actually the stem. Those thin white things dangling on the bottom are the roots.
  • What part of the plant does flour come from? 9 of 10
    What part of the plant does flour come from?
    Root, Stem, Seed, Bark, Flower, or Leaf?
  • Seeds 10 of 10
    Seeds
    This was my kids favorite. They couldn't believe that flour doesn't magically appear bright white and ready to use!


 

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