Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Fun Lesson/Activity for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Kindergartners

St. Patrick's Day lesson/fun activity for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners.   Leprechaun on the loose... time for a leprechaun scavenger hunt.  Alohamora Open a Book

If you have toddlers at home, run a preschool, or are even a Kindergarten teacher this lesson for a Leprechaun Hunt is pretty darn fun and you should do it on St. Patrick's Day.  

I've done this lesson in collaboration with classroom teachers, but a preschool or parent could easily do this lesson themself and have a lot of fun.  The kids will love it too!  

Being a librarian, and book lover, I always include books in every lesson.  The book, Leprechaun on the Loose by Marcia Thornton Jones sets up the "Leprechaun Hunt" perfectly. 

However, it can be hard to find.  If you can't find this book at your library, you can cheaply purchase it through the Scholastic Teacher Store here.  At the end of the lesson I have included an alternate book, that is much easier to find in case Leprechaun on the Loose proves to be impossible in your area..   

Leprechaun Hunt/St. Patrick's Day Lesson Plan
Alohamora: Open a Book Library/Elementary school lesson plan
Time: 15-20 minutes

  • Book Leprechaun on the Loose by Marcia Thornton Jones
  • 6 Large Shamrocks with the clues written on them
  • A Leprechaun Trap- one you make with your kiddos before for fun or any basket type will work great. 
  • Chocolate candy coins 

  1. Tell the students or your kids that since it is St. Patrick’s Day we are going to read a book about a little person that becomes very mischievous and silly on this day especially.
  2. You can show them the cover and have them use their Prediction skills to see if they can name (A Leprechaun) who this story is about. 
  3. Then ask them what they think a Leprechaun looks like? Possible answers are wear green, a beard, wears a hat, etc.
  4. If you have older kids you can also talk about Gold, and rainbows connection to leprechauns. 
  5. Read aloud, Leprechaun on the Loose by Marcia Thornton Jones.
  6. At the end of the story have the first shamrock clue fall out of the book. 
  7. The first clue tells us a Leprechaun is on the loose at (your house, school, classroom, etc.) and where we can find him.  
  8. Below are the Leprechaun Hunt Clues: The parenthesis at the beginning of each clue tell you where that clue should be hidden.  The parenthesis at the end of the clue tell you the answer to the clue, or where the next clue will be.  
    1. (In Book) Oh my golly!  Someone at (your location's name) has taken me gold.  I bet they hid it in the library where the make believe stories are TOLD. (FICTION side of library)
    2. (On FICTION bookshelves of the library) These stories of Leprechaun’s and rainbows are neat, but I’m getting hungry, it’s like I need to EAT.  I’ll get something sweet, and I’m sure I’ll find the gold where others go to EAT.  (Cafeteria doors)
    3. (Near Cafeteria) Leprechaun’s gold cannot be used for the food here that has a cost.  I’m sure my gold has been put with all of the other things that are LOST.  (Lost and Found)
    4. (Near Lost and Found) I guess the gold has not been turned in as lost.  I’m sure I’ll find the STACKS of gold in the place where the books have all the FACTS, I’m told.  (Non-Fiction side of the library)
    5. (Non-Fiction side) There are no stacks of gold to be found in here.  I’m headed to the CLASSROOM, I hope I find the gold SOON.  (Classroom- gold coins on the floor of the classroom.
    6. (Classroom) The gold was HERE, but you were so NEAR that I had to leave my gold and run in FEAR.
I know the clues are simple, but remember we are working with little kids (toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, etc.) and it's okay.

If you are doing this at home or around your classroom instead of the school you should be able to easily adjust these clues to your location.

In case you are not able to get Leprechaun on the Loose from the library or the link above you can read another St. Patrick's Day book and adjust it.  You may have to work on connecting the book to the clues a little.  

My back-up book is always The Leprechaun's Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards; you should be able to get it from your library or buy it from Amazon for less than $10.  The story is great and truly captures the spirit of Leprechauns, and the pictures are beautiful.

Actually, you should get The Leprechaun's Gold to read as well as the Leprechaun Hunt  book. 

Throughout The Leprechaun's Gold there are hidden four leaf clovers.  You could easily use the hidden four leaf clovers in the book to lead you into your hidden four leaf clovers around the house/school/classroom looking for Young Tom or Old Pat.

It may take a little creativity to adjust this Leprechaun Hunt to your specific location and the book you get, but I promise you the kids love it, it really is quite easy to do, and it's a fun lesson/activity for St. Patrick's Day. 

Happy teaching, reading, and Leprechaun hunting!    

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