Get lucky with these 10 St. Patrick’s Day texts that can be used to explain the meaning of the green-themed holiday, as well as introduce young students to Irish culture and traditions. This list offers mentor texts of history, fantasy, folklore, and more, to bring the spirit of the holiday into the classroom. Check out the 10 Lucky St. Patrick’s Day Texts with Teacher Tips!
How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
This lively book teaches you all you need to know about how to catch a leprechaun! By using pots of gold, shamrocks, rainbows, and various STEAM concepts, you can catch your own leprechaun if you’re lucky!
Teacher Tip: Ask students to reflect on the changes in Chrysanthemum’s character in the beginning, middle, and end. (Skipping to school, reacting to peers, Mrs. Delphinium making her announcement)
Infused with Irish culture and language, O’Sullivan Stew displays the magical art of storytelling. The Witch of Crookhaven’s horse has been stolen, and the village will see no peace until it’s been returned! The bold Kate O’Sullivan takes charge of the situation but winds up getting herself and her family into hot water with the king. The only way for Kate to save the day is by using her wit and imagination to tell a story to save her family and village from peril.
Teacher tip: For a St. Patty’s Day activity, create your own O’Sullivan stew! Print out a large picture of a pot of soup, cut out ingredients that Kate uses, and allow your students to make their own stew for an interactive experience that can be done during the read-aloud or after!
Gail Gibbons has created this bright picture book to help introduce young audiences to the history behind St. Patrick’s Day. Readers will learn about Patrick’s life, as well as other legends about the saint, traditional customs of the holiday, and more. A wonderful mix of Irish culture, legends, and history, this book is a must have for teaching young ones about what this green day is truly about.
Teacher tip: Create a mini-history lesson to pair with this book for a deeper understanding of this world-renowned holiday.
This classic Irish tale follows two harpists on their journey to find the finest player in Ireland. The duo is an odd pair, because while Old Pat is very merry, Young Tom has a sour demeanor! Once Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is the better harpist of the two, he begins scheming to eliminate his competition. What Young Tom doesn’t anticipate is the interference of a mischievous leprechaun out to make trouble.
Teacher Tip: Compare and Contrast the two characters. Talk about character development.
With a lilting Irish tone, this story follows the struggles and successes of Tim O’Toole and his wife, Kathleen. The poor family has not a penny to their name, until Tim stumbles across a band of “wee folk” clad in green clothes who give him various gifts with which to make his fortune. Thanks to the wee folk, things are beginning to look up for Tim—if he can steer clear of the evil McGoon family that is…
Teacher tip: Go to YouTube and find an Irish-narrated read-aloud for this book to show students about the interesting dialect and sounds of the Irish language.
Jamie O’Rourke is known as the laziest man in Ireland, too lazy to even help his wife on their farm! However, after an encounter with a leprechaun, O’Rourke manages to grow the biggest potato in the world! How will Jamie and the villagers handle this out-of-control spud as it keeps growing and growing?
Teacher tip: Compare this book with other classic tales, such as Jack and the Bean Stalk, to look for similarities between the genre of folklore!
St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting
Young Jamie must find a way to prove to others that he isn’t too young to march alongside the others in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Jamie’s inspiring efforts are supplemented with Irish history, culture, and tradition.
Teacher Tip: Use the narrative elements from this story and have students write a narrative on a day when they found a four-leaf clover.
Too Many Leprechauns by Stephen Krensky
Did you know that leprechauns are only lucky on St. Patrick’s Day? For the other 364 days of the year, these leprechauns cause trouble in the town of Dingle. But luckily the main character, Finn O’Finnegan, has a plan up his sleeve to fix the leprechauns’ mess!
Teacher tip: Take the idea of Elf on the Shelf and revamp it for St. Patrick’s Day! For the days leading up to the holiday, use a stuffed leprechaun figure and have it getting into mischief at different places in the room each day. On St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechaun can do something good to bring luck into the classroom by having it “bring in” green treats for the students.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this leprechaun family as they dance, march, and feast on their favorite day of the year!
Teacher tip: This story is written as a delightful rhyme and would be perfectly paired with an accompanying lesson in rhyme and rhythm! This is a great time to teach students how to write Limericks! See resources below!
This Irish folktale follows Fiona, a witty girl who must find a way to get Ireland’s luck back from the selfish Leprechaun King.
Teacher tip: This book is a great introduction to Irish culture and would work well accompanied by a lesson that goes more into depth on the symbols, foods, and traditions of Ireland.
It’s not easy being green, but there’s luck to be found in each of these 10 texts. Dive deeper into Irish culture with these fun, informative, and holiday-themed texts for this upcoming St. Patrick’s Day! FOR A FULL LIST OF ST. PATRICK’S DAY BOOKS, CLICK HERE!
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