Thanks to Betty Kobes
West Hancock Kanawha Elementary

JayCee Bear

     Cookie Boy baked and baked. The recipe used said, "Bake one hour for a brilliant cookie." The class decided that the longer the Cookie baked, the smarter he would be, since to first graders, brilliant means smart!


      One winter morning the first grade, J.C. Bears, burst into the classroom asking to bake a treat. JayCee Bear (Betty Kobes), their teacher, decided it was time to try out their recent acquired math measuring skills on a gingerbread recipe. She read them The Gingerbread Boy story and politely informed them that it had been a long time since the fox had eaten and that he was hungry. She also helped the class realize that the story could change anyway they wanted because they were now the bakers and the authors. The class measured, mixed, and formed a giant cookie. There was nothing finer than a Gingerbread Boy!



Cookie Boy

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Step 1

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup brown sugar
Combine the above ingredient and cream

Step 2

1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
Blend above ingredients

Step 3

Sift together
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Blend with creamed mixture

Step 4

Pour 1/4 cup boiling water over the mixture and blend.

Step 5

Refrigerate a few hours in a bowl covered with a wet towel

Step 6

Coat a 12x18 cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle flour on the surface.
Add extra flour to the dough if needed so it is not sticky and to make it the consistency for molding.
Flour hands before beginning the molding.
Form the dough into 6 balls; one soft ball sized ball for the tummy, one baseball sized ball for the head, and 4 tennis ball sized for the legs and arms. Begin the Cookie Boy by making the tummy and adding the head, carefully pressing the joining areas together by patting to the depth of about 3/4 inch.

Step 7

Add raisons and red cinnamon candy for eyes, mouth, and any desired decorations. It isn't long before a handsome Cookie Boy stares at the artists!

Step 8

Bake 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Step 9


Step 10

Decorate Cookie Boy by adding frosting for hair and a suit. He is ready for Cookie Boy School.

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Every J.C. Bear tummy was waiting patiently for the exact hour to sample their plan. While Cookie Boy baked, the class retold the sequence steps for mixing and baking. This process was recorded and used as the basis of a class big book, which happened to be exactly the same shape.

     During the cooling time, JayCee Bear assigned the group story writing about Cookie Boy. Amazingly, Cookie did similar things when compared to the traditional Gingerbread Boy. Because the J.C. Bears had been reading Jan Brett's books, animal characters like those in The Hat were favorite choices. However, the animals were made with shapes such as a triangle cat, and rectangle cow, and a square bear. For example, as Cookie Boy jumped out of the oven, he ran past the J.C. Bear cooks, JayCee Bear, and the animal characters from Jan's book, The Hat; cat, dog, goose, pony, and Hedge. When Cookie Boy comes to the river and the fox, who has been waiting for years for another Gingerbread Boy to be baked, he gives Cookie a ride, Cookie surprises him! He leaning over and whispers in his ear, "Hay, Foxie, I've read about that-you know-Gingerbread dude. I baked a little longer, so I am smarter! You will have to wait until somebody else bakes a Gingerbread Boy who cannot read." Cookie stepped on Foxie's nose and takes a giant jump to shore.
     It is off to Cookie Boy school where he is introduced to Jan Brett and her books on the Internet. Jan tells Cookie about her books. He reads each one, finding a treasure of beautiful CHARACTER BUILDING QUALITIES to teach him how to be a better citizen.


Wild Christmas Reindeer-Teeka must learn how to be patient before the reindeer line up to pull Santa's sled. Group discussion may lead into helping students understand how important it is to work with others in a kind and gentle way. Students will begin to learn that what behavior is received from others is directly related to what behavior they first give to others.

Christmas Trolls-Treva teaches the greedy trolls that stealing is undesirable behavior. She helps the Trolls understand the personal satisfaction and joy of sharing. Direct a group discussion centered on ways to make others happy.

Trouble with Trolls-The trolls take Treva's dog, Tuffi. Trolls take things they want, but do not belong to them, which is stealing. Treva has a unique way of getting Tuffi back, but her good fortune to trick dim trolls is very different from what happens when an item is taken in the classroom or from a store. Building a group discussion relating to the consequences for taking things and compare this with the effects of what happened to the trolls.

Fritz and the Beautiful Horese-Fritz, is rejected because he does not look or do the same things the more honored and beautiful horses of the village are able to do. However, when there is a special need to save the children of the village, Fritz is the hero. The character building quality of this book is to help children understand that every individual has unique talents. These qualities in individual are important and require respect even if they are not the athletic or sports hero image. Beauty of character is build on the inside and may not show on the outside. Every individual must strive to achieve and build the talents that are unique to their person. The eight learning styles directly as a topic for discussion. Individual student may wish to contribute examples of their interests and help them find their unique styles.

The First Dog-Kip is self-centered boy. Paleowolf, a wolf, teaches Kip love and devotion. In the process, Kip learns how to share and Paleowolf becomes the first dog.

Berlioz-Pitching in and helping is a character building quality. Teaching the students the need for community and group cooperation will help make a good neighbor and win friendship. This book will stimulate understanding of how cooperative community citizenship will achieve an impossible task.

Annie and the Wild Animals-Loneliness and finding ways to concur it will lead a discussion about friendship found by owning a pet.

Owl and the Pussycat-Finding a friend and devotion to that friend will lead a discussion about dedication and commitment.

Comet's Nine Lives-Friendship and the feeling of security are the quests of this very clumsy cat. The students will discover how important finding a place to call home for Comet is equally important for them. Building friendship and family brings security and love for Comet and is a powerful example for young learners.

Armadillo Rodeo-Obedience and listening are qualities the little nearsighted armadillo could learn. Relate how these qualities are necessary for a good character.

Town Mouse Country Mouse-Envy can only lead to unhappiness. Where home is, find ways to be happy.

Twelve Days of Christmas-The boarder illustrations teach the joy of giving and building tradition.

The Mitten-Nicki's mitten becomes a tool to teach cooperation.

The Hat-If you find yourself in a situation that is difficult to change, make the best of it.

Eating NEXT:

After reading Jan's collection and writing our Character Building Cookie Boy Big Book we ATE COOKIE BOY!


Thanks to:

JayCee Bear Kobes
West Hancock Kanawha Elementary

Bruce Bergland
Northern Trails AEA

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