Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in the Classroom February 16 2010
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your kids on March 17th and beyond with these fun lesson plans.
Vocabulary and Spelling
Consider adding the following St. Patrick's Day vocabulary to your spelling list: shamrock, blarney & blarney stone, St. Patrick, green, rainbow, gold, pot, harp, flag, leprechaun, and potato. Use the Predict, Define, and Sketch to have them guess what each word means, then work together to define, and then sketch on their own. These words would be good to use for the games mentioned below.
Lucky Charms bring back fond memories for me, and I have to say that I enjoy them now as an adult just as much as I did when I was a kid. The sugar content is a bit much for me now, but I love the little marshmallow bits soaked in milk!
Odds are that your students love them too, and a couple of boxes can make for some fun math in your classroom. Divide the cereal up into small zipper storage bags or paper cups, and give one to each student along with one of the sheets below.
Lucky Charms Math! is appropriate for younger kids, and focuses on counting, classifying and creating and solving word problems. It can be used individually or in partners, and would be a good activity for a center.
Lucky Charms Math For Groups! is appropriate as an extension activity for younger kids or as a math lesson for older kids. Even though they do these activities in groups, each student is responsible for his/her own work.
And when your students are done with their math, they can eat the cereal, of course!
This reading exercise, The Legend of the Leprechaun, will go right along with the Lucky Charms math activities. Before beginning with your students, create a K-W-L chart about Leprechauns. After reading the piece, fill in the rest of the chart with what they learned from reading. Combine this lesson with one of the writing exercises below.
If your students haven't made one already, take a look at Carol's Leprechaun Trap and the Leprechaun Writing Lesson Plan that goes along with it. The "How To Catch a Leprechaun" booklets will be good practice through the Writing Process as well as entertaining final drafts.
A different take on the legend of the leprechaun involves whether or not students believe in them. If you can, show them the Leprechaun Watch, scrolling down to read reports of leprechaun sightings and watch the video clip. On chart paper, brainstorm with your students reasons for these two categories: "Why I believe in Leprechauns" or "Why I Don't Believe in Leprechauns." Leave the reasons on display while they finish this persuasive piece by going through the writing process.
To explore the meanings of St. Patrick's Day symbols, play this St. Patrick's Day Guessing Game, which challenges your students to create "official" sounding definitions in order to win a prize.
For an easier game, use this week's spelling list along with the St. Patrick's Day words provided above. Introduce a variation of a spelling game that for this holiday's purposes, we will call "Shamrock." Kids love this particular spelling activity. The point is for students to spell words correctly, one letter at a time and only one letter per student.
Line up your students in one long, single-file line, facing you. The word for this example will be green. Choose a student to start the word. That students says the first letter, in this case g. The student on the right says the next letter, which is r. The next student says e, and so on through the last letter.
This is the tricky part, and consequently the part that kids love. The person after the last letter says "Shamrock," and the next person is OUT. Why? No reason, that's just the way the blarney stone rolls. Of course, if a student provides the wrong letter, he/she is also out.
These fun St. Patrick's Day activities can be used not only on March 17th, but all week long!