Saturday, February 28, 2015

Magical St. Patrick's Day Planned for You! (including freebies)

I just love St. Patrick's Day....
not only is it a wonderful man's birthday (the BEST dad ever!),
but it is really fun to celebrate with students. 
It involves so many concepts that children LOVE...
gold, rainbows, luck, tiny mischievous men, and magic....
all of which can easily be incorporated into a day of fun,
making memories for your students that they will never forget. So, yeah, I'd love to be remembered for teaching my kiddos to read or helping them finally straighten out their teen numbers or all the hours I spent creating the perfect lessons to REACH each child,
 BUT, the truth is, kids don't remember how those things came about...
what they DO remember is the magical memories you make with them. 
I'm writing this post to make sure you too can EASILY have the same kind of fun we have
surrounding St. Patrick's Day.
Our celebration actually starts the day before when Lucky the Leprechaun leaves us
a poem that, ironically, slips out of the book The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing.
The poem teaches the Legend of the Shrunken Leprechaun Hats and suggests that students decorate their "hats" (Styrofoam cups) and leave them out on their desk (or by their bed for those who are doing this activity at home).  The legend says that, if they are good, they will find a hat suitable for a small leprechaun's head with some treasures inside.
(Enter the teacher's MAGIC here.)
You bring the decorated cups home and "magically" shrink the cup-shaped hats in the oven to make them actually look like REAL, tiny leprechaun shaped hats.
You could even teach the children how to draw a lucky clover or shamrock, so they could draw it on their magical hats just for Lucky the Leprechaun!  Click the picture above to grab the freebie!

Aren't they adorable? Can't you see how children will find this so magical???  They turn into PERFECT little hats with brims and everything! They are ADORABLE to us and purely MAGICAL to the children.
So, the next day, you bring the hats back and place treats underneath (green and gold beaded necklaces, gold coins, gold Hershey kisses, etc..)-really anything green or gold will do. And, of course, you need to be sure to leave a special note from Lucky, too!
Rachel Seymour from A-B-Seymour shares this picture of what Lucky left her kiddos!  She also has a great freebie pack with great review activities and the cutest book EVER that you can find there, too!

After students find their treats, they start to notice that there are shamrocks with numbers hanging all around the classroom!
  Lucky also left them a message, but its all mixed up all over the room!  They need to order the words and find out what Lucky wanted them to know....this inspires them to write letters to Lucky...asking him questions, telling him how tricky he was, etc....

This year I found a really neat activity to add into the magic of the day!  I will be leaving "magic leprechaun rocks" under their hats from Lucky! They will toss the magic rocks into vinegar and a gold coin will appear!  How cool is that??? Head on over to Gift of Curiosity for more detailed information
Magic leprechaun rocks. This is such an AWESOME idea for some St. Patrick's Day fun with the kids. My kids would love this! || Gift of Curiosity


Food is a must for any celebration with children, right? Want a snack that is magical to be delivered by Lucky as well?  Why not try this Magic Leprechaun Dust from Design by Dazzle?  Its the old pistachio pudding trick....the powder (dust) is white, but when you add milk, it turns green!  Design by Dazzle even has free printables to use as labels for Lucky's delivery--woot woot!
Your students are going to think Lucky the Leprechaun is THE MAN bringing on these magical goodies to them!
After all this fun, its time to write!  I get some of the BEST writing from my students after Lucky leaves all of his goodies.  This year will be beyond exciting, too,
because of the magic rocks and the dust!
We are working on opinion writing, so we will be doing something along the lines of what kind of leprechaun do you think Lucky is...but, of course, you could do anything: letters to Lucky, questions for Lucky, anything!  I always talk about Lucky being a "young" reader and how important it is that we help him as much as possible by giving him good letter formation, spaces, etc....its amay-zing how they are so much more willing to write their best for a fictitious character vs. just their teacher (wahhhh! but I'll take what I can get!).

Make sure you grab the two follow up freebies to Lucky's visit at my Teachers Pay Teacher Store!
I hope I've made your magical St. Patrick's Day easy to plan for!  Can't wait to hear about it!


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