dan the gingerbread man

Dan the Gingerbread Man

Dan the Gingerbread Man
Target text


Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -an to make words such as man, ran, and fan.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

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)
  • Letter cards
  • Word cards
  • A pan or bowl
  • 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 a real or pretend gingerbread man on a baking pan. 
  • Explain that the gingerbread man’s name is Dan. 
  • Have the children say, “Hi, Dan the Gingerbread Man!” 
  • Pretend that the gingerbread man just came out of the oven, and let the children fan the gingerbread man while saying, “We can fan Dan.”  
  • Let the children decorate their own gingerbread men (optional).
  • Have the children think of words that end with -an (support as needed), write the words on the board, and read them as a class. 

Dan the gingerbread man ran and ran 

  • Read the Dan the Gingerbread Man target text and explain that the children will run like Dan the gingerbread man. 
  • Have the children form a line at one end of the room, and place a pan (or bowl) with the word cards in it at the other end. 
  • When you say, “Go!” allow the first child to run to the pan, choose a word card, and read the card aloud. 
  • Have the children chant together, “Dan the gingerbread man ran and ran to get a ___."
  • Have the child run back to the line, tag the next person, and go to the back of the line. 
  • Repeat until all the children get a turn running. 

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds 

  • Let the children use letter cards to make different words by changing the beginning sound(s), ending sound(s), or vowel. 
    • Change the beginning sound(s): Danman; ran pan; plan van 
    • Change the vowel: fan fun; tan ten; pan pin
    • Change the ending sound(s): man map; ran rat; pan paw
  • For each of the words the children make, have them produce the sounds of each letter and then blend the sounds to form 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. 
  • Reread the text, pausing before each word that has the -an ending so the children can read the -an word along with you.
  • Read the text again, fading support. 

Write about the activity using target words and phrases

  • Display some target words (e.g., Dan, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, plan) on a word wall along with the word gingerbread, and engage the children in one of the following activities: 
    • Provide sentence completion prompts on the whiteboard 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 write sentences using words from the word wall that express ideas from the lesson activity or target text (e.g., “Dan the gingerbread man ran and ran”).
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SEEL Target Texts

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!
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SEEL At Home



Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -an to make words such as man, ran, and fan.


  • Gingerbread man game cards 
  • Dan the gingerbread man graphic 

Activity: Dan the Gingerbread Man

  • Cut out the game cards, mix them up, and place them facedown in rows. 
  • Explain to your child that you will take turns flipping two cards over to try to find word cards and picture cards that match, and whoever has the most matches at the end of the game wins. 
    • When a word card is turned over, have your child read the word on the card aloud.
    • When a picture card is turned over, have your child name the object on the card. 
    • When a match is turned over, the person who turned it over keeps the matching cards.
    • If the cards don’t match, turn them facedown 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.
  • Repeat the activity as desired.
  • Let your child decorate the Dan the gingerbread man graphic with crayons or markers, then have your child write -an words below the gingerbread man.



Gingerbread man

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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.