I am always looking for fun thematic ways to have students engaged in academics, especially during holidays, when they are extra excitable!
I have found ultimately I have two choices:
a. Try to fight the distraction of a holiday and proceed as usual
b. Roll with it. Harness the excitement and use it as fuel for fun learning activities and projects.
I always, always, always pick choice b. It makes for much more fun, less nagging, and more learning after all!
I’d love to share 7 of my favorite St.Patrick’s Day Activities for the classroom.
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1. Design a Leprechaun Trap.
I have my students design their own leprechaun traps leading up to St.Patrick’s Day as a family/ at home project. They bring their traps in the day before St.Patrick’s Day and share them with the class! I have also had students complete this step by step- how to- booklet at school when they share. I have actually had even more success sending it home with students as a part of their project so they can complete this at home as a part of their project.
This project is an awesome engineering project along with fine motor development, and of course it’s also fun!
Then of course we set the traps out the night before and watch to see if we can catch lucky!
The students are then always surprised when they come in the next day to see little leprechaun footprints all over their tables, and even their morning message! I prefer to use washable paint mixed with a drop of soap to make it extra washable,and a footprint stamp (Amazon Link). Of course the little leprechaun also leaves behind all sorts of decorative touches, like hanging shamrock decorations (Amazon), green glitter, and shamrock confetti. Although none of them catch the leprecahun, they each always seem to find a leprechaun coin left behind in their traps! Most excitingly, they find their very own note from Lucky! Here’s a freebie with some examples of one’s he’s left behind before 🙂
This is such a fun way to start St.Patrick’s day with a little magic, and fun! It’s also a great way to celebrate their projects!
2. Greenprints for a Leprechaun House- Math Project
If you’re ready to think about leprechaun living, this fun math project is super fun for students! Students create a “Greenprint” for a leprechaun house on grid paper. They can even brainstorm fun St.Patrick’s Day inspired names for each of the rooms!
Then, depending on your students, they can either calculate the area, perimeter, or both, or just count the number of boxes in each room! You can find all the supporting materials here.
I love to use some fun literacy extensions to this math project. My favorite is the “real estate ad”for the house they’ve designed, but there are also templates to write a letter to the leprechaun, and tell all about leprechaun life in this new home!
3. Leprechaun Math Fact Practice Centers
I have three fun math practice activities I like to do with my students on St. Patrick’s Day! The fun thing is that fact practice type activities are so easy to differentiate between which operation you’d like to use, so many of these activities are offered in versions for addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
First, students LOVE the math excitement of the Solve and Write the Room. It’s like a math task card scavenger hunt as they search for the cards, solve, and write the equation! (I have versions for addition, subtraction, and multiplication).
Second,I LOVE spinner activities! This leprechaun spinner game is no exception! Print and laminate the spinners, attach a paperclip with a brass fastener. The different borders on the spinners help to differentiate which numbers students are working with. I like to place the recording sheets inside of Reusable Dry Erase Pocket so they can continue the activity for their entire center time. This one also includes materials for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and fact families!
Third, students love color by code activities! This is a great fun resource for students to practice math and numbers. I have St. Patrick’s Day versions of addition within 10 and numbers to 10. (I’ve written more about color by code activities here)
The thing I love about these activities is that they really can be used in the days leading up to, and following St. Patrick’s Day as well, since I find that kiddos can always use a little extra math practice.
4. Rainbow Science & Observations
I like to have a science station going at least once a month where students watch something change over time (usually a few days).
This is a great one to start on St.Patrick’s Day!
All you need is several white carnations, cups or vases, and some food coloring. Sometimes we just leave some flowers out to observe and that silly leprechaun adds rainbow food coloring all on his own when he visits us! Then we watch as the color transformation happens over the next hours and days!
I have created a little observation journal which can be used to record the changes students see! When the flowers have changed color, the students write little notes and we usually leave them on teachers and staff members desks as a little cheerful surprise! I use the science printables included in this First Grade St.Patrick’s Day resource.
The second rainbow fun activity we like to is the fizzy rainbow surprise activity!
I use these Condiment Containers . Ahead of time, fill them with a small spoonful of Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, and then put a couple drops of food coloring right in the middle. Then cover with more baking soda so the color can’t be seen.
When students are ready for the activity I put some vinegar into cups, and they use Plastic Eye Droppers to put some vinegar into the container. The reaction begins with the baking soda and vinegar, and before long a “magical” color appears!
This is always a fun way for us to spend our science time!
5. I’m So Lucky Writing
There are a few ways to help students think about what makes them so lucky!
For younger students, I’ve had them write things they are lucky for on little shamrocks (I have a template that can be printed on green cardstock included in this resource). Then they glue the shamrocks onto a headband/ sentence strip to show all that they are lucky for!
I have also had students do some writing about what is valuable to them… worth more than gold!
This writing template is a unique way to help students think about the people and things that they are fortunate to have in their lives!
6. Read Favorite Leprechaun Stories
Here are some of my favorite leprechaun stories to read!
I have also included a basic response template for the favorite story in this resource here!
If you’re looking for a little something to use during small groups/ guided reading time, I’ve also created a couple of St.Patrick’s Day Emergent Readers with follow up response that might be just what you’re looking for!
7. Write Your Own Leprechaun Story!
Once students have been all excited reading, writing, learning all leprechaun themed, they are so much more ready to write their own narrative stories!
These book template pages allow for guide words to help beginning writers keep their story organized! I find that by writing time students are excited and have lots of ideas for leprechaun adventures!
Of course there are TONS more things you can do to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day with your students! I’d love to hear more about your favorite parts of celebrating!