Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Leprechaun Fun

We had some St. Patrick's Day fun the other day!  I love reading Leprechaun on the Loose to my students.

 They always get into the drama of the story where Sidney, the main character, is the only one in the class who knows that there is a leprechaun in the room.  However, Sidney's attempts to save the class St. Patrick's Day party from the antics of the leprechaun results in Sidney making things worse, and the teacher and other students blaming Sidney for all of the disasters.  Sidney builds a leprechaun trap and ends up making a deal with the leprechaun.  The leprechaun tells Sidney were a treasure of party supplies is hidden in exchange for his freedom.

After we read and enjoyed the story, the students completed a story map in their reading response journals.  We've spent the last number of weeks learning about characters, character traits, settings, problems and solutions. This book is great for a response, because the problem and solution are all very clear.

 Instead of copying a lot of graphic organizers, I'm trying to minimize paper waste and use their notebooks as much as possible lately.

To create this four-square, I simply instructed the students to fold the page in hot dog style.  That created the vertical line.  The top drawing portion of the exercise book became the top two squares, and the writing line portion of the page became the bottom two squares.

When the students were finished with their story response, I informed them that they would be able to design their own leprechaun trap on a piece of blank paper.  I've done this a number of years in a row now, and the students love it!  Their imaginations go wild, and the seem to love the open-ended nature of the activity.  I've also learned that it is a great activity for fostering oral language.  Even my quietest students are eager to share all about how their leprechaun trap design would work.  Some students take it a step beyond and get artsy with their design.  This student constructed a paper ladder for his trap.

I give the students a few tips to think about.  "What is going to lure your leprechaun to the trap? How will he get stuck?  What will keep him from getting out?  What would make your trap different from someone else trap?  How will it be unique?"

After the students have designed their trap, they write about how it will work.  Next time I will ask the students to write it in a "How To" step-by-step format.

After they were finished they got a 12 by 18 sheet of construction paper and folded it in half like a greeting card.  They then glued the design on one side and their writing on the other.

Then they created a leprechaun to decorate the front.

 I happened to have some gold glitter paper in my art cupboard, and we cut buckles out of it to decorate the leprechaun hats.  So cute!

When the students were finished with all of their activities they were allowed to read or use whiteboards.  I love what one student decided to write about on his whiteboard!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our St. Patrick's Day activities.  If you would like to download my primary lined paper with checklist, you can find it for free here:

If you would like a fun St. Patrick's Day themed Measurement Center you can find it here:

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