In a stroke of luck, March ushers in the season in your classroom dedicated entirely to rainbows, gold, and scheming leprechauns. If you’re an elementary school teacher, you know that incorporating these fun and festive holidays into your classroom allows you to teach lessons about culture and history while also letting your students have a bit of fun along the way.
Here are some activities that you might consider for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:
- Enhance the atmosphere of your classroom by setting up harmless — yet effective — leprechaun traps. A leprechaun trap can be created out of an old shoebox and decorated to look like an Irish haven. Add lots of green, shamrocks, gold and some sticky glue, and maybe you’ll be able to catch a leprechaun for your students. At the end of the day, leave some chocolate gold coins near their desks to show that a leprechaun was around, or place one in the trap for your students to find.
- Make your own shamrock shakes in the classroom. These can be a healthy and delicious snack that also allows your students to get into the spirit of the holiday. One recipe for shamrock shakes calls for a banana, two cups of lime sherbet and milk. Instead of creating them ahead of time and serving them to your students, give your kids the chance to get hands-on with this activity. Show them how they can use household appliances in order to make the shakes, and explain that shakes can be a healthy snack when fruit, vegetables, and other nutritious ingredients are added into the mix.
- Read your students one or two books about St. Patrick’s Day. Depending on the grade level of your classroom, you could opt for a cute story about a mischievous little leprechaun or you could read a historical account about the life and times of St. Patrick himself. After you are done reading your book, encourage your students to share their own creative writing pieces about St. Patrick’s Day. This story hour could be an alternative option to a party that typically involves treats and games.
- Send your students on a scavenger hunt throughout the classroom or around the school. You can use clues that require them to use their critical thinking skills as well as recent lessons in order to advance to the next spot. Since it’s a St. Patrick’s Day activity, the final prize should be something found at the end of a rainbow. A pot of gold chocolate coins, some lucky marshmallow cereal or some shamrock-themed treats would be an ideal prize to receive considering the holiday.
- Give students time to write in their journals and reflect on St. Patrick’s Day. There are many different writing prompts that you can use to commemorate the holiday that also will help your students expand their writing skills and increase their critical thinking skills. Whether you teach in a first-grade classroom or in a fifth grade classroom, you will find that writing prompts are an ideal activity to include for just about any holiday that you want to celebrate in school.
- Have your students create a rainbow art project. Allow them to get creative with the type of rainbow that they want to make. Some may decide to create a traditional rainbow with each and every hue, while others may do a rainbow painting or create a rainbow collage with tissue paper. Simply get out the art supplies in your classroom and let the colorful activity begin! Once your students are finished, you can use these rainbows in order to decorate for your St. Patrick’s Day party.
You don’t need the luck of the Irish in order to pull off a spirited St. Patrick’s Day celebration in your classroom. By choosing one or more of these easy activities, you can transform your classroom into a space fit for a leprechaun while also giving your students a little something to learn along the way. A little creativity goes a long way — keep pushing your students forward with exciting and inviting assignments!