#313. St. Patrick's Day Activities

, level: Pre-School
Posted by Kathleen Carpenter (kat@teachers.net).
Materials Required: See lesson
Activity Time: one session of pre-k or Kindergarten

On St. Patrick's Day we share stories about leprechauns. I explain the
mischievous nature of leprechauns. We discuss the potato as an important
crop in Ireland. Children trace, cut out potato shapes, then add features
with yarn, scraps, wiggly eyes to turn them into "Potato Heads". We cut up
and cook potatoes for mashing and eating. After I drain the cooked
potatoes, I slip some green food coloring under the potatoes before mashing
so that when we pour in the milk we discover some "leprechaun magic" at
work. We also discover a bowl with mysterious white powder in it,
accompanied by a note from a leprechaun explaining that the powder is
magical and will turn into a delicious treat if we add milk and stir it up. (It
is instant pistachio pudding mix) When we pour in the milk, we see the
magic happening as the mixture turns green. Every child wears a shamrock
name tag with his/her name turned "Irish" for the day by adding )' before
the last name, I become Mrs. O'Carpenter. Any chld who wishes to, allows
me to spread a bit of white glue on the back of his/her hand, then we apply
glitter to represent a magic leprechaun kiss..the children go home to pass
the magic onto someone else by giving a kiss to a family member.
Books we share: "Jamie O'Rourke and The Big Potato" and
"St. Patrick's Day In The Morning" (both from Scholastic)
Children make little Irish Flags using construction paper rectangles of
green, white, orange.
I make a little display of things from Ireland (Flag, leprechaun statue,
pictures of Irish children in costume doing the jig, Irish money, etc. I play
jig music..
This year I hope to add: make a "thatched" roof cottage to represent how
Irish people formerly made a roof on their homes, using milk cartons and
"thatch" (hay).

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