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Make a Sweet Gingerbread Door for Your Classroom

December 13, 2013


Are you looking for a fun holiday craft idea that combines English learning and vocabulary practice? Why not have your students build a gingerbread door for your classroom?

You will need:

  • Large brown boxes (or brown craft paper)
  • White paper (for snowflake icing)
  • Colorful paper or wrapping paper/magazines for decorations
  • Tape, glue and/or staplers
  • Scissors
  • Christmas music to motivate your ESLves

1. Show your class a picture of this gingerbread door, or find some other examples online. Ask your class to give you some adjectives that describe this door. Then ask your class what nouns (materials) they think will be needed to complete this craft? (Have the materials ready to go.)

2. Next, work together to brainstorm all of the verbs your class will use to transform your classroom doorway (or gymnasium doorway if you're having a Christmas concert) into a gingerbread house. Examples: measure, cut, paste, trip, design, decorate, glue, tape, adjust, create, color, etc.

3. Divide your classroom into teams of elves.

  • architects
  • bakers
  • snow patrol
  • candy makers

4. Ask each group to define their role in words and write it on the board. Challenge them to use the adjectives, nouns, and verbs they came up with in the first few steps. Examples:

Architects: Our job is to measure the doorway and build the frame of the gingerbread house. We also need to build a roof.

Bakers: Our job is to make sweet treats to place on the house. We need to bake (out of paper) cupcakes, cookies, and gingerbread men.

Snow patrol: Our job is to cut out beautiful snowflakes for the icing. We need to make enough snowflakes to trim the roof. (Why not hang some from the ceiling too?)

Candy makers: Our job is to decorate the house with tasty candy. We need to make candy canes and lollipops and other treats.

5. Put your elves to work! Give them a deadline. If they don't finish in time, you can invite some elves to help make the house sweeter during breaks or after school hours. As your students are working, play some Christmas music in the background. Ask them what they are working on. If one team finishes their job ahead of another, have the efficient elves join other teams.

6. (Optional) Assign team points on the board when the elves use Christmas vocabulary! Check out our Christmas Flashcard Set and December Holiday Collection.

7. Invite other classes or teachers to view your door when it's done! Have the students and teachers ask questions about it to review superlatives.

  • What was the hardest part?
  • Which team worked the hardest?
  • Whose job was the most fun?
  • Which sweet looks the most delicious?
  • Which is the prettiest snowflake?

8. Take a picture of your gingerbread door and share it with ESL Library at We'll share it on our Facebook page

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