Dan the Gingerbread Man


Read and write words that end with -an.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • fan
  • man
  • pan
  • ran
  • tan
  • plan


  • Baking pan, plate, or piece of cardboard
  • Gingerbread men (cooked or cut out of cardboard or brown paper) 
  • Decorations for gingerbread men (e.g., frosting, sprinkles, candy, dried fruit, old buttons)
  • Letter cards
  • Word cards
  • A pan to put word cards in
  • Dan, the Gingerbread Man target text

The children will meet a gingerbread man named Dan and read and write words that end with -an, such as Dan, fan, man, and pan.

Literacy Activities
Dan the gingerbread man

  • Place real or pretend gingerbread men on baking pans. 
  • Explain that each gingerbread man’s name is Dan. 
  • Have the children say, “Hi Dan, the gingerbread man!” 
  • Pretend that a gingerbread man just came out of the oven and let the children fan the gingerbread man and say, “We can fan Dan.”  
  • Let the children decorate their own gingerbread man (optional) 
  • Have the children think of words that end with -an (giving initial sound hints as needed), write the words on the board, and read them together. 
  • Make the listed words into cards to use in the next activity (optional). 

Dan, the gingerbread man ran and ran 

  • Read the Dan, the Gingerbread Man target text and explain that, in the game they will play, the children will run like Dan, the gingerbread man. 
  • Ask the children to form a line at one end of the area and place a pan with the word cards in it at the other end. 
  • When you say, “Go!” allow the first child to run to the pan, pick it up, and read a word card aloud. 
  • Have the children chant together, “Dan, the gingerbread man, ran and ran to get a (say the word on the card)."
  • Have the child run back, tag the next person in line, and go to the back of the line. 
  • Repeat to allow as many children as possible to have a turn running. 

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds 

  • Let the children make different words (e.g. ran) from letter cards by changing either of the consonants or the vowel. 
    • Change the beginning sound(s): Dan → man; ranpan; planvan 
    • Change the vowel: fan fun; tanten; panpin
    • Change the ending sound(s): man map; ranrat; pan → paw
  • For each of the words the children make, have them produce the sounds for each letter and then blend those sounds back into a word. 

Read target words in a text 

  • Have the children underline the words that end in -an in the Dan, the Gingerbread Man target text. 
  • Read the text to the children. 
  • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
  • Read the text again, fading support. 

Write about the activity using target words and phrases

  • Display target words on a word wall (i.e., Dan, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, plan) along with the word gingerbread and engage the children in one of the following: 
    • Provide sentence completion prompts in an interactive writing routine to create a text about their experience. For example, 
      • Dan is a gingerbread ______ (man). 
      • Dan is a ______ (tan) gingerbread man. 
      • I can ______ (fan) Dan. 
      • Dan, the gingerbread _______ (man) ________ (ran) and _________ (ran). 
      • Does Dan want to ride in a ________ (van)?
    • Have the children use a word wall that includes -an words and gingerbread to write a sentence or two expressing ideas from the lesson activity or target text (e.g., Dan the gingerbread man ran and ran). 

SEEL Target Texts

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Dan, the Gingerbread Man

A tan gingerbread man, named Dan, sat on his pan.
He was hot, so we got a fan.
But Dan did not like the fan.
So, he got off the pan and ran and ran.
Dan, the gingerbread man, ran by a tin can.
He ran by an old man. 
Dan ran by a little girl named Nan.
We ran after Dan, the gingerbread man.
But Dan had a plan! 
He ran until he came to a van.
Then he sped away in the van.  
And we did not get to eat the gingerbread man!


SEEL At Home

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Read and write words that end with –an.


  • Gingerbread man game cards 
  • Dan, the gingerbread man graphic 

Activity: Dan, the gingerbread man

  • Before starting the activity, cut out the game cards, mix them up, and place them face down in rows. 
  • Explain that in this game you will take turns flipping 2 cards over to try to find picture/word card matches, and that whoever has the most matches at the end of the game wins. 
    • If a word card is turned over, have your child read the word on the card aloud.
    • When 2 cards are turned over and they match, that person keeps the matching cards.
    • If the cards don’t match, then turn them face down again and it is the other person’s turn.
  • When all the cards are gone, count how many matches you have to find out who the winner is.
  • Have fun playing the game as many times as desired.
  • Let your child decorate the Dan, the gingerbread man graphic with crayons or markers then have your child write as many –an words as she or he can think of below the gingerbread man.



Gingerbread man


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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B: Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.D: Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)