A Tale of Gold and Leprechaun Traps
Teach the students some basic St. Patrick’s Day facts. Cheryl Gabbert has pulled together a great list of facts that are perfect for preschoolers.
Once the students understand a little more about Ireland and its patron saint, tell the students the following fictional story of the leprechaun:
Begin by explaining to the students that Leprechauns are obsessed with gold. The only reason they would leave their own gold is to go find some more and to wreak havoc! They are little people who are very sneaky and good at hiding. Leprechauns generally dress in green, love St. Patrick’s Day above all others, and can be found hiding with their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Allow your students to dwell on this and converse about the magic of leprechauns.
Next, explain to your students that St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon and the leprechauns may come out to play. By now, your students will be curious and possibly discussing how they could ever find a leprechaun.
This is when the real fun starts!
- Instruct the students to go home and design a leprechaun trap. Inform students that it would be best if they used something that would trick the leprechauns into thinking there is gold to be found in order to lure the leprechaun into the trap.
- Plan a St. Patrick’s Day party – Separately from the leprechaun traps the students are creating at home, you could also make some craft decorations for the classroom. Here are two craft ideas that would go well with the leprechaun theme.
- Have the students bring in their traps and set them up before the day of the party. Get creative and place the traps sporadically throughout the classroom.
On the day of the St. Patrick’s Day party, you will be giving these students more than just a snack and some games. You will activating their imagination.
A Magical Visit From a Leprechaun
This takes some planning, but the excitement it generates in your students is well worth the effort!
First, make sure you have coordinated with the maintenance department. Ask if there is some type of easily removed chalk or paint that you can use on your classroom walls. Tempera paint usually washes off fairly easy, but be sure to consult with maintenance to avoid any problems.
Next, line up a volunteer or two to come in on the day of the St. Patrick’s Day party. As you take the students to recess or lunch, the volunteers will come in to the classroom and flip over a few chairs and ‘mess up’ the room a bit.
And, of course, all of the students’ leprechaun traps must be made to seem as if they were struggled with — that the leprechaun tried to get the gold and then fought valiantly to escape each one of their traps.
Place green footprints on the wall, desks and/or maybe some posters that are on the wall using the paint or chalk method decided upon with maintenance. If you have a suspended ceiling, you may even lift one of the tiles and direct the footprints toward it.
When the students walk in the room, it will appear as if a leprechaun has been playing in the room and narrowly escaped the traps!
This will be a St. Patrick’s Day the students will not soon forget!