Thursday, February 28, 2013

Go Green! St. Patrick's Day

I love St. Patrick's day!  It's so much fun!  When I taught in a church preschool I could tell about the young boy, Patrick, kidnapped and taken from his family.  God helped him to escape and go home to his family in Britain and later to return to Ireland as a missionary.    He used the shamrock to explain about the Trinity of God. I have used this book  for telling about the real St. Patrick to preschoolers;  Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola. I don't read the whole book or even show all the pages.  I'm dealing with 2 and 3 year olds.  I don't get into a lot of theology with preschoolers! ( I haven't used this book in my library storytime although I do offer it as part of my book display).
At my library storytime I do tell the children that the day is about a real person named Patrick that lived a long time ago in a place called Ireland.  Then I might say, "On St. Patrick's day we wear something green (they show me what they have that's green) and we talk about leprechauns and shamrocks."  I use this as a springboard to talk about what is real and what is pretend.  We count felt shamrocks and talk about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  St. Patrick was real, shamrocks are real, rainbows are real too. Leprechauns and their tricks and  pots of gold are pretend!'s fun to pretend! 
I initially found this rhyme by Jean Warren in The Best of Totline Newsletter on page 81. I enlarged the patterns to make my leprechauns larger.  I used pellon and colored pencils and glue and glitter. Every self- respecting leprechaun has buckles that are shiny gold; not to mention shiny green shamrocks too!

Five Little Leprechauns
One day out walking,
I happened  to see
Five little leprechauns
Coming toward me.

They ran to a house.
They ran through the door.
I managed to catch one.
Then there were four.

Four little leprechauns
Climbed up a tree.
I caught another.
Then there were three.

Three little leprechauns
Hid in a shoe.
I caught another.
Then there were two.

Two little leprechauns
Started to run.
I caught another.
Then there was one.

One little leprechaun
Ran to his gold.
He grabbed some coins
Then stepped out bold.

“Give back my friends,
And I’ll give you this gold.”
So I set them all free.
Now my story is told!

Since I don't have a song that's about St. Patrick's day, I like to use Mr. Al's song, 'Please Stand Up' about the colors of our clothes.  Of course, I always suggest that we can pretend that we are wearing rainbow shirts or pants so that we can all 'stand up' on every color as the song goes along.
It's fun to pretend that we're all Irish for a day of Storytime Fun!


  1. Your leprechauns are so cute! Thanks for sharing. Does the Best of Totline Newsletter come out monthly, or is it one of those compilation teacher resource books? I would love to make some of theses little green men myself :)

  2. Thanks for looking. If you click on the book title above, it's a link to Amazon if you're interested in purchasing a copy. Totline used to be a newsletter...not sure if it's still being circulated now?. I've used this resource for years when I taught preschool and now in the library.