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.

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.

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.

Sugar Skull Art Project

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This is a super simple art activity that comes out amazing every time. You can either use the sugar skulls and simply color them, or have your students come up with their own version. We usually do both. First, we have the kids color, and then they create their own sugar skull drawings. We loved to use markers, but oil pastels or crayons look great as well.

Materials

  • Sugar skull printouts
  • Colored markers or crayons
  • Colorful construction paper

We introduce our students to the Day of the Dead, and then show them examples of the whimsical and colorful skulls that brighten this Holiday. We give each student a copy of our sugar skull and bright construction paper. They simply color the patterns, cut out the skull, and glue it on colorful construction paper.

We have more great art projects on our (Almost) No Prep Art Projects page.

Community Mural

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

~John Donne

A community mural is a wonderful group project. This is an (Almost) No Prep Art activity because we use materials available to us and students create every aspect of it. Nothing is pre-cut or copied. We think the results are pretty awesome.

Materials:

  • Butcher paper
  • Tempera paint
  • Buttons
  • Sequins
  • Construction paper
  • Color
  • Copy paper

These are only suggestions. We use what we have in the room. Recycled materials also work really well. You can see in the picture that somehow googly eyes and puff balls got involved.  We must have put them in the wrong activity box.

Procedure:

Outline your streets and landmark with pencil. Assign different kids to paint the landscape. In the meantime the rest of the class starts to create houses, cars, and people. You can demonstrate how to do it or just see what they come up with.  The only thing that is very important is that the kids cut out their contributions completely. It sometimes takes them a while to understand that they cannot add their own background. We tell the kids to make the houses about the size of the palm of their hand but they still come out all different sizes. We arrange the artwork and the kids glue it on. Making a community mural?  We would love to feature it on the website! Have fun!

100 Acts of Kindness Challenge 2016

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Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain- and most fools do.

~Dale Carnegie

Join our 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge! A great way to keep track of kindness in the classroom and at home!  After 100 acts of kindness are growing on the kindness tree the class gets to celebrate with a kindness party. Invite your friends and family to rest in the shade of your very own tree of kindness.

100 Acts of Kindness Tree

Kindness is of vital importance and often overlooked in our schools. Did you know that there is scientific evidence that being kind is a great predictor of future success? A study published in the American Journal of Public Health followed 753 kindergarteners from 1991 to 2010, children who showed kindness were more successful over the years of the study. Kind children were more likely to graduate from college and find steady employment.  Prosocial behavior also decreased the likelyhood of having a criminal record or needing public assistance as adults. You can find the details of the study right here. A powerful reminder that kindness matters to all of us.

The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremarkable acts of kindness and love.

~William Wordsworth

Kindness starts with the adults in a classroom.  We as teachers need to model the behavior we want to see in our students. Don’t worry, the class won’t walk all over you. Kindness is not weakness. It is the ultimate show of strength. Being kind will make you, as well as your students, happier. When you show altruism your brain produces endorphins that increase your sense of well-being.  Forget the coffee! Kindness is going to get you going.

Materials

  • Bulletin board
  • Tag board
  • Green construction paper
  • Sharpie

Procedure

Cut a tree trunk from tag board.  Create leaves and record each act of kindness on a leaf before you attach it to the tree.  Have an amazing party when you have collected 100 leaves.


Our tree broke out in blooms inspired by Wassily Kandinsky’s Concentric Circles. We took the leaves down and each kid made the blossoms with oil pastels.

If you want to delve deeper into the subject, there are many stories and fairy tales that can be used to illustrate what it means to be kind. Aesops fables, Grim’s Fairy Tales, and biographies of altrusitic role models. You can find a collection of kindness stories  from all over the world right here on www.wisdomcommons.org.

Help thy brother’s boat across, and lo! thine own has reached the shore.

~ Indian Proverb

(Almost) No Prep Spring Flowers

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Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

~Luther Burbank

Materials

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Pastels
  • Google Images of Georgia O’Keeffe flowers


Spring flowers inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe are a great way to celebrate the season. Even very young children can feel successful with this great project. Simply show students how to make the shapes for the petals. The flowers look best when they fill the entire page. Trace your pencil marks with markers. Then Color the petals with pastels. These flowers really pop with bright colors.

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Art Activity

St Patrick's Day Shamrock

This beautiful art activity is a great way for your students to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  They draw a shamrock and create the lines with a ruler. Then kids simply add tangle patterns. You can create a beautiful display or send the project home for some Irish appreciation.

Supplies

  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Google images of tangle patterns

Demonstrate how to draw a shamrock.  Show how to draw lines using a ruler. Share some pattern ideas with the class. We usually draw some patterns on the board.  Your students might want to draw with a pencil first and outline with a black marker later. Don’t forget to have fun!

5 Healthy Treat Ideas for School Parties

 

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We all love a treat now and then, especially on birthdays.  During each school year children will easily eat about 40 cupcakes. There are cupcakes for Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, fundraisers, just because, and everything in between.  All of these unhealthy treats add up and not in a good way.

Many schools have guidelines to stem the tide of sugary goodies.  However, the reality is that most of the time  well-meaning members of the community are all too happy to supply a classroom with treats.  After all, the tray of cupcakes is less than $5 and the kids are going to love it, right?

Don’t despair.  The Little Digital Schoolhouse is here to help! We have assembled a panel of top-notch educators to compile a list of healthy treats for your convenience. All of the treats are educator & mommy approved!

 

Butterfly Snack Bags

Butterfly snack bags from http://raisinglittlesuperheroes.com
Butterfly snack bags from http://raisinglittlesuperheroes.com
  • Carrots
  • Cheese blocks
  • Clothespins
  • Ziplock bags
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Googly eyes

Cut the cheese and fill a ziplock bag with grapes and cheese.  Pinch it in the middle with a clothespin and decorate with pipe cleaner and googly eyes.

 

Fruit Rockets

Fruit Rockets from http://www.eatsamazing.co.uk
Fruit Rockets from http://www.eatsamazing.co.uk
  • Strawberries
  • grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Glitter tassels

Even though you probably won’t be able to make a bonfire at your school, these rockets will still dazzle your young gourmets. Simply skewer the fruit and decorate with a tassel.

 

Apple Sandwiches

Nut butter sandwiches from www.wheelndealmama.com
Nut butter sandwiches from
www.wheelndealmama.com

Cut apples and garnish with Sunbutter and granola.

 

Cheese Monsters

Cheese Monsters from http://www.danyabanya.com/cheese-monsters/
Cheese Monsters from Aussie mum blogger Danya Banya http://www.danyabanya.com
  • Babybel cheese
  • Googly eyes

Even small kids can make these little critters. Just cut out different shapes and get creative with googly eyes.

 

Merry Berry Cups

Berries
Honey
Lime
Mint leaves (optional)
Clear cups with lids
This snack can be assembled by the kids. Put out bowls with berries, slices of lime, sprigs of mint, and honey. Students can choose their berries, squeeze a lime over it, and garnish with some mint. If the berries are too tart, some homey can sweeten the deal.

What do you think? Send us pictures of your wonderful classroom celebrations!