I love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with young students! Those tricky leprechauns are always “visiting” our classroom creating some sort of hijinks! But I also like students to know about the origin of the holiday and how it came to be celebrated here in America, so I use some of the “leprechaun lore” to motivate and encourage students to learn about the holiday.
I turn on our Smart Board and act “surprised” when Lucky Leprechaun is there saying he snuck in to show a presentation about his favorite holiday. He then tells the students that at the end of the presentation they will have a chance to win some of his gold if they can answer his questions. This motivates the students to pay attention! They get very excited!
I keep the act going by saying that I guess we have some time to watch his presentation and answer his questions and pretend like I have no idea what it will be about. The presentation has information about Ireland and explains the origin of St. Patrick’s Day and how it came from Ireland to America using very simple terms that young students can understand and full-color photographs and pictures that grab their attention.
The students also learn what makes green, how rainbows are formed, and, of course, about the legend of the leprechaun. Then it is time for what they have been waiting for – the interactive quiz! Lucky Leprechaun shows them a question along with 2 possible answers. If they choose (click) the correct answer Lucky Leprechaun tosses them a piece of gold from his pot and they hear a “ca-ching” sound. If they choose (click) an incorrect answer an unhappy face appears with an “Oops! Try again!” message.
At the end of the quiz the students want the reward they earned of course! A slide appears that has Lucky Leprechaun say that he hid their rewards by something green in the classroom which gets the students to look away from the presentation. (Now prior to showing this presentation I printed out these Golden Achievement Awards
and hid them along with some chocolate gold coins and gold star stickers behind our green shelf out of the students’ view.) I have the students list green objects in the room and we check each one until we find the rewards behind the shelf. I then show the last slide which is a note from Lucky Leprechaun explaining that he was able to escape with the rest of his gold because he tricked the students into looking away from him and, as the students learned in the presentation, if you take your eyes off a leprechaun he will get away with his gold.
The students LOVE it and they remember the information from the presentation and Lucky Leprechaun. I have to admit, I love doing it too!