Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St Patrick's Day Ideas and Activities

I enjoy planning some of our schoolwork around all the holidays.  It makes for a fun and exciting change of pace for us.

We don't usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day much beyond eating some corned beef and cabbage but found so many cute ideas on Pinterest that I could not resist making our week all about St. Patrick's Day and the symbols we usually associate with the holiday.


The fun themed certainly worked in motivating my kids today!
 Evan started our school day without me!  


I was busy putting groceries away and he just couldn't resist all the balloon words I had set up last night while he was in bed.  I blew up balloons in every color of the rainbow last night and wrote his new sight words on them.  Since we got rid of 10 words I added 10 new words and thought this would be a fun way to introduce them.  I taped the balloons in rainbow order on our window ledge and they must have captured his attention because he asked me what he was supposed to do with them.  I told him that once he read me the words he could pop the balloons.

I think I had barely finished speaking when he started pulling them off the windowsill and putting them on the floor.  I was glad to see that he knew a few of the words already (he did ask me if he was right so he wasn't 100% certain what the words were but he got so many of them right!).  He then tried to pop them by sitting on them, stomping on them and bouncing on them.  When he realized he wasn't heavy enough to pop them he picked up a Nintendo DS stylus and used that to pop all the balloons.  He was giggling and laughing and getting his brothers to help him too. 


Our rainbow sight words
Fun St. Patrick's Day science:

I put a clear jar of HOT water on the table and asked the boys if it was moving.  They said no.  I then asked them how we know when water's moving, does "man" make water move and when, etc.  I told them I was going to drop some food coloring into the water and I wanted them to predict what would happen.

We did just a drop of blue, I waited a few moments and then added a drop of red in a completely different area of the jar, waited a few more moments and added some yellow in another different area of the jar.

All the while we observed and talked about what was happening.  The colors slowly swirl and move about the water and eventually mix together.

 Ian asked if the same thing would happen with cold water so we dumped out the container and tried the whole experiment again.  It was different with the cold water.

We discussed why that was and talked about molecules, movement within the water that we can't see and the production of heat.  It was such a simple, fun science experiment. 


After a while the colors finally started mixing up
We moved onto art next:

I cut out four green shamrocks from construction paper and after showing the boys examples of the activity we were going to do today, glued them (one each) onto plain white computer paper trying to get them perfectly centered.

  • I had waited to glue them onto the paper in case anyone wanted to try the art project with watercolors, but they all agreed they wanted to use markers (colored pencils, chalk pastels, oil pastels, or even crayons would all work well for this activity).  
Starting at the very center we traced around the shamrocks one color/line at a time gradually getting larger and larger until we filled up the whole paper (or most of the paper in Evan's case).  I say "we" because I decided to join in today's art project too-- it looked like so much fun!  I loved the bonus that Evan was getting tons of find motor practice in such a fun way. 

 I think they came out awesome!






Our finished artwork

We moved onto math as soon as we had cleaned up from our art project:  

Evan and I worked on finishing up his 100's grid from yesterday.

After using his markers so much for art he was starting to grumble about working on math.  I figured he had lots of fine motor practice during art as well and so I offered to color in the squares on his 100's chart if he'd point them out to me.  The whole point of the lesson was to see if he knew the names of the numbers from 1-100 and could find them on the number line and my coloring in the boxes would still allow him to do that; we finished in no time and he seemed to enjoy it today!




We had a quick writing activity today that they all seemed to enjoy:  

They took their shamrock hand prints from yesterday and I wrote "I'm lucky because..." in the middle and they all had to write four thing they were lucky to have or lucky to be able to do.  I had Evan do at least half of the writing on his own.  Not one person whined or complained and they all came up with many ways in which they're lucky!  For us that is huge!  My boys hate to write!



Our completed Lucky Shamrocks

 We read a few books while eating lunch today: 

We finished up our St. Patrick's day Shamrock Mystery book (and found it's part of a series the boys asked me to find at our library).  We then read a book called Katie's Wish.  It's a historical fiction book about the Irish potato famine of 1840.  We talked about what life was like in the 1840's and the book was so wonderfully written and illustrated.  We read through the Author's note and learned a lot about that time in history for Ireland, England and America as well.  I love when we get to squeeze in some history lessons!

We ended our afternoon by making a fun shamrock snack:  

We took pretzels and arranged them in groups of three, centered a Rolo candy on them and heated them up in the oven for just a few minutes until the chocolate looked shiny and the Rolos were melted.  We then pushed a green M & M (or three!) onto each Rolo and waited for them to harden back up.  The boys gobbled them up and declared them to be quite yummy!


Once school was done for the day, Alec continued working on his shamrock painting.

Finished--- for real this time!


Linking up with:
Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop




10 comments :

  1. Love all the shamrock ideas! Pin, pin, pinned. See you around. Kathleen

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed them and thanks for pinning them! :)

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  2. What fun ideas! I especially love your reading and writing suggestions. Would you please share this with our readers at the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup #LMMLinkup http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=904

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    1. Sure! I'll head over there right now and link it up.

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  3. Those are such fun crafts and ideas for St. Patrick's Day. Love!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!

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  4. Very interesting week! love the science experiment! & the beautiful artwork! Pinning to the practical mondays board:)

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  5. These are beautiful and great ideas! I love the balloon idea for sight-words, because it is super-motivating. All kids want to pop balloons :)

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