6 St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plan Ideas

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Luck is believing you’re lucky.”

~Tennessee Williams

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by exploring Ireland through art, music, and engineering. Here are some of our favorite activities to make this celebration a meaningful learning experience. We have added links to most of the resources you need, so prep will be a breeze.

Music & Dance

It is fun just to hop around and enjoy Irish music.

If you would like to take this lesson a little deeper, dancing the jig is great exercise and very easy to learn.

Art

This is one of our (Almost) No Prep Art Lessons. You probably have all the materials you need in you classroom. Students draw the shamrock and create the lines with a ruler. You can learn more about this lesson right here.

St Patrick's Day Shamrock

Food

Taste the Rainbow

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We use every opportunity to promote healthy eating. Most kids will at least try a food offered in the classroom. We assemble a fruit rainbow in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The cut fruit and berries are offered buffet style. The kids help themselves to the different fruits. They later chart their fruit platter in their journals. We have more healthy party snack ideas right here.

Engineering

The day before St. Patrick’s Day out students design and create leprechaun traps in class. This is one of the our favorite activities of the whole year. Many teachers have kids create traps at home. They often look more polished than our crazy classroom creations.

Social Studies

If you or your students are interested in learning more about St. Patrick you can watch some of these videos.

Math Sculptures

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Number sense comes alive with this activity. Students build Sculptures with counting cubes or other manipulatives available to you. They then draw their creations and record the number of cubes they used.

Materials:

  • Math Manipulatives
  • Paper
  • Markers or crayons

Procedure:

Demonstrate how to build a math sculpture. Distribute manipulatives, paper, and markers. Demonstrate how to sketch the sculpture and record the number of cubes used. Have fun creating!

You can find more hands-on math projects right here.

5 Great Poems for Morning Meetings

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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.

~Plutarch

We have been using poetry as part of our morning routine for years. the procedure is quite simple; a poem is charted and the class recites it while a volunteer points to the words. When the children have memorized the entire poem, they work on enunciation and projection. Students then recite the poem to an audience.

Materials:

  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • Pointer

Procedure:

We first preview the poem on Youtube. Then we choral read the charted verses. One student points to the words with a pointer. We repeat the procedure several times and kids take turns pointing. It takes about a week for students to memorize a new poem.

Here are some of our favorites:

The New Colossus 

America the Beautiful

This Land is Your Land

Hope

The Road Not Taken

You can find wonderful resources at:

 http://www.poetryoutloud.org/.

http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/choral-reading-30704.html

 

Winter Mural

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We love making a winter mural! The kids create individual homes and we combine them into towns and villages. The best part is, that we can leave the decoration up until we come back after the winter break.

Materials:

  • Blue and white butcher paper
  • Colorful construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sequins (optional)
  • White and blue tempera paint

Procedure:

Prepare the landscape with butcher paper and tempera paint. Cut the white butcher paper in a wavy pattern and glue it on the bottom of the blue paper. Paint swirly patterns on the blue paper. The swirly patterns create the impression of icy gales blowing over the landscape.

Introduce the kids to making a collage. We show them how to create small houses with colorful construction paper. They decorate them with glittery sequins and markers.

The whole class helps to arrange the houses into small towns. The kids love creating a neighborhood with their friends!

Looking for more (Almost) No Prep Art? Click right here.

Our Top 5 Rainy Day PE Ideas

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Are you ready for inclement weather recess? Try some of our ideas and you will learn to love indoor recess. Ok, ok, maybe not love, but at least your students will enjoy it.

Yoga

Yoga has become very popular in schools. You don’t have to be a Yoga instructor to get some of that good vibe into your classroom. There are lots of exercise videos available, or simply use some from Youtube.

Indoor Obstacle Course

We use crepe paper strips, hula hoops, and carpet pieces to create the ultimate spy-training obstacle course.

Dance

Who can resist dancing? Learn some new moves on a rainy day with some youtube dance videos.

Workout Video

Workout videos are a straightforward way to get everybody moving. There are lots of great workouts available on youtube.

Tai Chi

We used to have a teacher at our school, who kept us in awe with her awesome Tai Chi moves. Since she retired we have resorted to Youtube videos.

Making Pinch Pots

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We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.”

Tao Saying

Working with clay is something really special. Our school has a kiln, and we use real clay. The smell alone is a deeply sensory experience. There is nothing like breaking open a new package of clay.


If you don’t have a kiln to fire real clay at your school you can use modeling clay as well. It still will be a great learning experience for your kids.

We also like to discuss where clay comes from. There are lots of youtube videos of people extracting clay right from the ground.


Clay has to be used quickly. Our clay comes in large blocks. We cut the clay with a string and students work right on their desks. Every student has a small cup of water ready in case their clay gets too dry.

Clay has to be used quickly. Our clay comes in large blocks. We cut the clay with a string and students work right on their desks. Every student has a small cup of water ready in case their clay gets too dry.

We demonstrate how to knead clay and form a sphere. The trick is to “pinch” your thumbs into the clay to form a small pot. Students smooth the edges of the pots, by moistening their fingers with a little bit of water. Most students have used playdough before, but clay is a very different material. It is hard to knead and has to be moist at all times.

After the lesson, we stash the pinch pots on top of a closet and forget about them for a long time. It is very important that they dry sufficiently or the clay will explode in the kiln. The thicker the objects, the more time they need to dry. We usually wait four weeks before firing them.

The first round of firing in the kiln, also known as the bisque firing, comes first.  Every kiln is different and it is best to read the manual to determine individual firing times. If you are using modeling clay you get to skip the firing process.

Last but not least, we glaze our pots. We use non-toxic lead-free paint and the colors are barely visible during the painting process. We tell the kids the paint works like magic and turns into glass during the second firing process. Firing the glaze is very time consuming because the objects cannot be stacked or touch each other at all.

Finally, the pots are ready to go home. We usually wrap them in clear cellophane so the kids won’t break them. They look very cute filled with candies and make excellent Holiday gifts!

Are you interested in more art projects? Click right here for more (Almost) No Prep Art.

Swamp Goblin and Fairy House Math Game

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We love to make our own math games, and nothing brings equations home like a game of Swamp Goblin/Fairy House.

The game is very easy to make, and kids get really creative with it. Last time we had pop-up swamp goblins, and fairy houses with working doors and windows.

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Scissors

Procedure:

We introduce the concept of true and false equations with a directed lesson. This game aligns very well to the two math programs we are using. The sample in the picture was made as a preteach activity for Eureka Module 1 lesson 17, and as an extension with MyMath lesson Grade 1 Lesson 14.

We show the kids how to fold the paper and go over true and false equations. Each kid prepares their own came and equations. They exchange them and feed the equations to either the fairies or swamp goblins. We send the games home at the end of the day, and the kids love showing it to their families.

Domain: Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Major Cluster: Work with addition and subtraction equations.

1.OA.7 Understand the meaning of the equal sign and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false.

Thanks for stopping by. Check out some of our other math lessons right here.

Torn Paper Collage Monsters

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“Let the wild rumpus start!”
~ Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Torn paper collages are a perennial favorite in our classrooms. We create them as a literature connection activity, after reading Where The Wild Things Are.

Materials:

  • Colorful construction paper
  • Glue

Procedure:

First, we read Where The Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak. It is really fun to act out parts of the book, by making a “wild rumpus” in the classroom. We pretend there is a large bonfire in our class, and we are all wild monsters. The kids use their imagination and visualize what kind of creature they are. What color is their fur? Do they have claws, warts, and tails? The kids pair-share with a partner and describe how their monsters look like.

Next, we demonstrate how to tear paper. The kids often get frustrated with tearing  paper and want to use scissors. However, it is crucial to tear the paper and embrace the unpredictability of the outcome. Manipulating paper is a great way to practice fine motor skills. Once the kids get the hang of it, they absolutely love tearing the paper.

We also show them that combining seemingly random shapes can create really interesting pictures. The imperfection is part of the appeal. Once introduced, the technique can be used to make all kinds of amazing artwork. We spruce up book covers, holiday cards, and bookmarks.

Let the wild rumpus start!

If you are interested in more art lessons you can click right here.

Haunted Math House

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Our haunted math houses are a big hit every year. They give students a creative outlet to explore and deepen their mathematical reasoning. The best part is that there is virtually no prep needed for this awesome project.

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Black marker
  • Crayons

Procedure:

We review math stories and then demonstrate how to draw a house with the rooms exposed. The class helps generates ideas for math stories in the haunted math house. Favorites have been ghosts, spiders, and jack-o-lanterns. Sometimes we even act them out.

The materials are then distributed, and the kids get to work. It is amazing to see what they come up with. Some kids make flaps and trapdoors, to make their stories more interesting, others have pop-out ghosts and ghouls.

Once we have introduced this activity we offer it as a choice during math centers.

You can find more hands-on math activities by clicking right here.

 

Leaf Rubbing

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Autumn

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

 

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I’ll put a trinket on.

~Emily Dickinson

Leaf Rubbing

Leaf rubbing is a great activity any time of the year. It definitely is a favorite in the fall when leaves change colors. Simply rub a crayon over a leave placed under a piece of copy paper; like magic, The leave appears in front of your eyes.

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Leaves

Leaf Hunt

We start this activity by going on a leaf hunt in our yard. The best leaves come from our sycamore trees. They have the distinct maple leave shape and are excellent for rubbing.

It is very helpful to have a collection of leaves already prepared. This way every student will have great leaves, even if they don’t find any on the walk. We even press and laminate really nice leaves in order to use them over and over. Pressed leaves also make for great fall decoration.

This activity is a great extension to exploring Fibonacci numbers in nature. You can read more about using the Fibonacci sequence to deepen number sense right here.

Art & Poetry

The rubbings also lend themselves to visualize your favorite fall poems. One of our favorites is  Autumn by Emily Dickinson. We charted the poem and the class reads it chorally during our Morning Meeting. Students later copy the poem for penmanship practice; a great fall keepsake that is greatly appreciated by our families.