Tag Archives : St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day: Motivating students to reading for meaning ~ with humor!

St P humor post

Nothing grabs my students’ attention more than something that is downright silly.

They know I tend to make the odd ‘mistake’ when we’re reading together, and that reading just HAS to make sense. Whenever I sense someone’s attention (or foot, or elbow) beginning to drift, I’ll throw in the odd error, for example:

Oh No!

Recently, we have completed the Pirate Pals Read and Write and More booklet together, and it occurred to me, again, that when kids anticipate fun and laughter, they are more willing to invest their energy and focus up front.

Pirate Pals kids joking about space monkey - CopyA 2nd grade student tries to get a  peer to choose ‘Saturn’ instead of the correct answer for the setting question… Pirate Pals Reading Comp photo…then they laugh at the thought of pirates bringing a space monkey on a treasure hunt!

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. I read the story of St. Patrick to my grade one class years ago, and remember the pre-reading discussion well. A small group of my students believed that St. Patrick was a leprechaun, and others found the idea to be hilarious. The child who had expressed this idea was embarrassed and it had a significant impact on his confidence in sharing in groups, and taking risks in his learning, for some time.

This, of course, took us off-track into a conversation about teasing, laughing at vs. laughing with others.

I’m planning to give the students I see the advantage of knowing the true story of St. Patrick early, so they can be armed to laugh with their classmates!

The St. Patrick’s Day pages below and the Pirate Pals pages above are only two of the elements of the Read and Write and More Series.

St. P's Day Reading Comp JPEG updated

St. P's Day questions JPEG updated

Isn’t laughter the way of the Irish, after all?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

2015 TpT Store Prof pic circle


Th1 Th1 St P Day Freebie main product cover

More R & W & M Read Rec Sound boxes

St. Patrick’s Day: LUCKY you! It’s Almost Spring Break!

I don’t know what it is about holidays and school, but students always tend to go a little coo-coo around any holiday. St. Patrick’s Day just so happens to be one of those holidays that also falls before Spring Break, so they are especially coo-coo.

So what do we do? We give them fun activities and count down the days! Everyone knows that trying to teach a new concept or review before Spring Break is nearly impossible. So, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun a day or two before Spring Break (or on St. Patrick’s Day if your Spring Break comes a little later)!

A fun activity to try on the holiday is teaching them the art of the LIMERICK. We have all heard the naughty one about Nantucket, so let’s not share that one with them, shall we? Start off first with the structure:

A LIMERICK is a short and fun rhyming verse that is often humorous. It has a distinctive rhyming pattern, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier and easier to come up with your own!

Here is an example of a limerick:

“There was an Old Man of Peru

Who watched his wife making a stew.

But once, by mistake,

In a stove she did bake

That unfortunate Man of Peru.”*

(from A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear)

If you notice in the limerick, there is a very clear rhythm and rhyme. It is five lines and has a rhyming scheme of: AABBA. The rhythm pattern is as follows:

da DUM da da DUM da da DUM (A)

da DUM da da DUM da da DUM (A)

da DUM da da DUM (B)

da da DUM da da DUM (B)

da DUM da da DUM da da DUM (A)

Next, give them a couple more examples:

St. Pattys Blog

Once they get the hang of it, have them try to create their own! If you would like the Create-a-Limerick packet, check it out at my TPT store!

Blog Limerick2


I also have an activity called “Wacky Words” in which students fill in parts of speech to create a silly story about hunting a leprechaun. This can be purchased separately or with the St. Patrick’s Day Activity Packet that includes these two activities AND a crossword puzzle and word search!

Happy St. Patty-ing! :)

Blog Packet