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St. Patrick's Day Writing: If I Caught a Leprechaun...
Students will be able to use invented spelling to write about what they would do if they caught a leprechaun.
- Tell students that on March 17 people across the world celebrate the Irish culture and St. Patrick's Day.
- Ask students to share what they know about St. Patrick's Day.
- Explain to students that leprechauns are a big part of Irish history and folklore.
- Project the Leprechaun Doll worksheet onto the board.
- Tell students that leprechauns are a type of fairy from Irish folklore, similar to a gnome or an elf. They have red beards and wear a tall green hat, green pants and jacket, and shiny black shoes. People believe that leprechauns live in the forest, and they are hard to find because they are very quick little creatures. Each leprechaun has his own pot of gold, which he guards very closely. If you catch a leprechaun, he has to give you his pot of gold or grant you three wishes! However, if you catch one, you have to watch him closely because he might escape. Remember he is very quick!
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain to students that they are going to create their own leprechaun dolls and do some leprechaun writing.
- Tell students that they will be writing about what they would do if they caught a leprechaun.
- Model for students how to complete this writing activity by saying, "If I caught a leprechaun, I would ask him to grant me three wishes."
- Write your idea on the board, and model how to use invented spelling as you are writing. Add to your writing by giving details of what your three wishes would be. For example, you might say, "I would wish for a puppy, a swimming pool, and three-day weekends."
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Ask students to think about what they would do if they caught a leprechaun. Would they keep his pot of gold? What would they do with the gold? Would they ask him to grant them three wishes? What would their wishes be? Or would they do something else with the leprechaun?
- Tell students to turn to a neighbor and share their ideas, and have them give you a thumbs up when they are done sharing.
- Call on a volunteer to come up to the board to share one of their ideas. Support the student to use invented spelling by helping them stretch their out their words, isolate sounds, and write the sounds they hear on the board.
- Have students share the pen by calling on another volunteer to come up to the board to write their idea.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Distribute writing journals or writing paper.
- Tell students to use their invented spelling to write about what they would do with a leprechaun if they caught one.
- Explain to students that when they are done writing they will work on creating their leprechaun doll by carefully cutting out the leprechaun and his clothes and gluing them together.
- Provide students with a sentence frame to help them with the writing process. The sentence frame could read: I will ask the leprechaun to give me his pot of gold. I will use the gold to ____. Or I will ask the leprechaun to grant me three wishes. I will wish for ____, ____, and ____.
- Give students the option to draw and label a picture of what they would do if they caught a leprechaun.
- Pre-cut the leprechaun doll and clothing out for students who have difficulty with fine motor skills activities.
- Ask students to provide more details in their writing. For example, ask them to describe where they caught the leprechaun, what he was doing, and how it made them feel.
- Tell students to think about how the leprechaun would feel if he was caught. Have students write a story from the perspective of the leprechaun.
- Distribute whiteboards to each student.
- Tell students that they will practice using invented spelling to write consonant vowel consonant (CVC) words.
- Say a word (e.g. mat) and model for students how to stretch out the word, isolate the sounds, and write down the letters that they hear on their whiteboards.
- Continue saying a variety of CVC words. Ask students to independently use invented spelling to write each word on their whiteboards. Ask students to hold up their whiteboards after writing so that you can check their use of invented spelling.
- Optionally, challenge students by saying longer words associated with St. Patrick's Day (e.g. gold, rainbow, and clover).
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Ask students to sit in a circle on the rug.
- Go around in a circle and have students share their writing and their leprechaun doll.
- Encourage students to be respectful listeners.
- Give students the option to take their leprechaun dolls home or to hide them somewhere in the classroom.