Gingerbread House Contest

Today is December 1st, so I am starting my second annual Gingerbread House Contest.  In an nutshell, I invite students to make Gingerbread houses, which we then have on display in the office.  (My secretaries get very excited with the various entries and the entire office smells like gingerbread during December).

The contest ends on a Thursday (two weeks from today) and after school I take pictures of all the entries.  On the following day (Friday) I show the pictures to all my German students and have them vote on their favorites using classroom responders.  I also ask the faculty to vote on their favorites and then I award prizes (1st, 2nd and 3rd) based on student votes and faculty votes.

Here are a couple of the photos from last year’s entries:








I got the idea last year from another teacher on the German Listserv and it was a phenomenal success. The secretaries loved it, the students really became energized, and the winning entry was phenomenal: a jail complete with wardens, stockings with coal for the inmates, a bunkhouse, an inmate snowball fight, electric wire (licorice rope), even a lifesaver toilet in the bunkhouse.

Gingerbread houses are “sort of” German in that we can duck under the auspices of the Witch’s house in Hänsel and Gretel, but this could be done for pretty much any language.

If you are interested (and even if you’re not), I’m including the text of the rules below. 

Gingerbread House Contest

The contest is open to any German student at NHS. Others may enter, but they must be part of a team that includes a current NHS German student.

  1. Contestants may submit entries either individually, or as a group. More than one entry may be submitted.
  2. All entries must be made entirely of gingerbread – absolutely no graham crackers. Contestants may use the recipe which appears on a link provided with this contest, or may use a recipe of their choice.
  3. The gingerbread house submitted may take any shape, form or size. There is no standard which must be met. Creativity is encouraged.
  4. Each entry must be submitted on a cardboard, wooden or plastic base. There is no standard size or shape for the base. However, it must be larger than the house.
  5. All entries must be decorated with candy or other edible embellishments. Anything that appears on the house must be edible.
  6. Contestants may embellish their entry with non-edible figures, material, etc. However, these embellishments may not be connected to the house in any way. Everything that appears on, or is connected to the house must be edible. Again, creativity is encouraged.
  7. All submission are due by 3:30 PM on Thursday, December 15th. Bring submissions to the German room.

2 responses to “Gingerbread House Contest

  1. This is a great idea! I’m thinking of adapting it to New Year’s trees made out of food items. Only one question: do these houses get eaten in the end??


  2. Generally not. Last year’s winner told me today that he kept the house in his room until two months ago when he finally threw it out. Ick. The fresh Gingerbread gets a bit stale, and the commercial kits (yes, they exist) aren’t really worth eating to begin with. I’m encouraging people to make more Gingerbread than they need and eat the remainders.


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