Thursday, July 10

Storytime: Ireland

This storytime was for a preschool-aged group at my library.

Read Aloud Books

St. Patrick's Day by Dorothy Rhodes Freeman

This was the informational book we had at our library; any book about Ireland would really work. I just wanted a point of reference for telling kids about some of the traditions in Ireland and the actual story behind St. Patrick. So technically, I didn't read it. Just summarized the good stuff. Pictures of Ireland, St. Patrick, and such were helpful to have as well.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big PotatoWritten and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Jamie is too lazy to actually work on the farm, so when his sweet wife is injured, he doesn't know what they'll do for food. Luckily, he finds a little leprechaun who may just have the right solution. While the story is a little long, I liked that it is an actual folktale from Ireland, not just some holiday book.

Too Many LeprechaunsWritten by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Dan Andreasen

Finn O'Finnegan has returned home to find his village overrun with leprechauns--and what loud neighbors they are! Nobody can get anything done! So with some cunning plans and little luck, Finn sets out to solve the problem. Another folktale, this one gives some background behind what leprechauns do and just why their gold is at the end of the rainbow.

Songs and Rhymes

Song: "Ireland's Flag"
(Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
Orange, white and green
Orange, white and green
The colors of the Irish flag are
Orange, white and green

Song: "If You’re Lucky"
(Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)
If you’re lucky and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re lucky and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re lucky and you know it, 
Then your gold will surely show it.
If you’re lucky and you know it, clap your hands

Action Rhyme: Little Piggy Leprechauns
This little leprechaun slid down the rainbow, (Point to thumb.)
This little leprechaun stayed home. (Point to index finger.)
This little leprechaun picked a shamrock, (Point to middle finger.)
This little leprechaun found some gold. (Point to ring finger.)
This little leprechaun cried, "See if you can catch me," (Point to little finger.)
As he ran home. (Wiggle little finger.)

Goodbye Song

Games and Activities

Flannel Board: Leprechauns!

For this flannel board activity, I made different colored leprechauns dancing a little jig. I printed them off, laminated them, and stuck Velcro on the back. The pot of gold is made out of felt and gold glitter (Isn't it cute?? Although it was hard to see on the black felt board. Boo). Anyway, I put all the little guys up on the board with the gold hiding behind one of them. Then I let the kids yell out which color of leprechaun they thought was hiding it. We all said this rhyme together:

Five little leprechauns
Dancing all around
One is hiding all the gold
Perhaps it can be found!

Is it behind the red leprechaun?
(or whichever color. We practiced each color in sign language while we said it)

...and so on counting down until the kids found the gold. We did it a couple of times, because they found the gold pretty fast. But they loved it! I let them play it amongst themselves afterwards as well.

Here are the pictures I printed off: (click for larger versions)

Craft: Rainbow!

Cut lots and lots of 1-inch-ish squares from different colors of tissue paper. The cotton balls I ripped in half, just so they would last longer (some kids felt the need to make really, really big clouds). Then let the kids glue away!

Other Book Ideas

The Leprechaun's GoldWritten by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Henry Cole
Fiona's LuckWritten by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
One Potato, Two PotatoWritten by Cynthia DeFelice, illustrated by Andrea U'Ren 
That's What Leprechauns DoWritten by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

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