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Leprechaun Legends

Leprechauns, shamrocks, and wee folk are popular elements of Ireland's delightful legends. Celebrate Irish literature with a stand-up Leprechaun!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. During a unit of study on Ireland, invite students to research Irish legends and symbols. Look for leprechauns, wee folk, shamrocks, shillelaghs, and other traditional symbols of Ireland in books, poetry, and music. Read folk tales about leprechauns. Note the ways different artists show these fascinating characters.
    2. Ask students what they think leprechauns look like. On a large piece of construction paper, students use their imaginations to draw a detailed leprechaun using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Suggest they color his clothing and features with Crayola Crayons. Add Crayola Glitter Glue to make the leprechaun's eyes and other elements sparkle. Dry.
    3. Students cut out their leprechauns with Crayola Scissors. Trace around the outlines on cardboard. Cut it out. Attach the cardboard to the back of the drawing with Crayola No-Run School Glue for support.
    4. On more cardboard, students draw a second pair of feet for their leprechauns. Color both sides. Cut a slit between the leprechaun's feet and slide the second pair of feet into the slit so he can stand upright.
    5. On construction paper create a large shamrock. Cut it out and glue it to the front of the leprechaun.
  • Standards

    LA: Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears

    LA: Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Irish Fairy Book - Special Edition by Shawn Connors; A Pot o' Gold: A Treasury of Irish Stories, Poetry, Folklore, and (of Course) Blarney by Kathleen Krull; Irish Legends For Children by Yvonne Carroll; The Leprechaun's Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards

    Encourage students to research additional Irish symbols such as the claddagh. What is the meaning of each of these elements? Create replicas of these images using Crayola Model Magic and/or colored pencils.

    Students work in small groups to investigate the history of Ireland, its geography, culture, people, and industry. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Nearly 3.5 million Irishmen immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1880. Students investigate the Great Potato Famine and the influx of Irish to the U.S. during this time period. Why did they come? What was life like in their new country for these immigrants? What types of jobs did they work? What was the experience of entering the country through Ellis Island like for these people?


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  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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