‘Tis the season for leprechauns in Room 222. I’m fairly certain that these little green fellas are not in the Common Core, but they have been around much longer and I will keep it that way despite the looming state test. Leprechaun traps have been a third grade tradition in my school for decades. A few years ago, St. Patrick’s Day fell on the very first day of the PSSA. A colleague suggested that we get rid of the tradition, but I decided not to let a test ruin my plans. Ever.
Do you know this book? It is one of my favorites. I always kick off March with this story to get the kids thinking about leprechauns. It has a simple, yet clever plot that always makes my students yearn for more. This book also has rich vocabulary, so it lends itself nicely to a lesson in using context clues to build meaning. Some of the words that we investigated today include: ramble, piggin, brogue, hoodwinked, boliauns, and spade.
After building the excitement, I asked my students to share some of their own thoughts about leprechauns. They eagerly cut and assembled a leprechaun flip book that we will work on throughout the next week.
Today, I had them draw and color a portrait of a leprechaun on the first page. 😉 Boy, do I love that artwork.
Most of the kids agreed that leprechauns are small and that they have orange hair. Some think that they have pointy features like noses, ears, and elbows. Green seemed to be the color of choice for clothing, but we had quite an assortment of hats and hair styles. We even had some girl leprechauns!
Some of the kids peeked ahead to see that we will be writing about leprechaun jobs and houses tomorrow. I already heard discussions about caves, mushrooms, rainbows, and tree houses. I am planning to use the leprechaun flip book for morning work. Other pages include thoughts on leprechaun mischief, conversations with leprechauns, and of course a plan for a leprechaun trap! 🙂
When my former students return as teenagers (and now even adults), I always ask them what they remember about my class. Without fail, leprechauns always come up in those conversations. That is why I choose to keep the tradition alive behind closed doors. 😉