Can you believe we are halfway through March, the equinox is upon us in a few days, and spring flowers are blooming? It is certainly a time for refreshing our spirits and learning!
One of the fun events to celebrate in March is St. Patrick’s Day. Students are returning from Spring Break and beginning to prepare for state assessments, so a day dedicated to learning and fun is in order on March 17th!
I am going to share a variety of learning opportunities that you can do in your classroom or at home with your children. These will certainly be great lessons to extend learning and have fun at the same time! PLUS these can be great online learning opportunities, as we all are having our lives impacted with the Coronavirus.
So “What is St. Patrick’s Day” all about? These resources above are great activities for younger kiddos, but older learners will want to know a bit more information that leads to a history lesson.
I think an important piece to learning is finding out why this day is celebrated in America. I love to pull in BrainPop resources when I can, as the information is always presented in a kid-friendly way with several learning extensions for a variety of ages. Check out this video to learn a little about this special holiday. What are some fun facts that you learned?
If your school does not have a subscription, I highly recommend this learning resource. I use this resource for a variety of topics in my classroom.
STEM (Engineering Focus) Activity
How do you catch a Leprechaun? I have seen the green footprints left in my classroom each year, but have never been able to actually catch the Leprechaun leaving those prints behind. Every year there are green footprints that start at the window (point of entrance) and travel throughout the classroom, on tables, desks, in the library . . . everywhere and hides golden nuggets for my students to find! I don’t know when s/he does this during the night of March 16th, but my students are always ready to design and try to capture this Leprechaun!
I provide my students with a variety of materials: some kind of “Leprechaun bait” such as Lucky Charms cereal, green construction paper, some craft sticks, rubber bands, a shoebox or tin can, and some green tissue paper. The Leprechaun likes green, so I try to include lots of green items. I also have a stuffed animal to represent the Leprechaun for students to test their design.
The goal for my students is to create a trap to catch the Leprechaun. One important note: this trap needs to be created BEFORE March 17, so it is ready to go on the eve of March 16th when the Leprechauns come.
If your students are not on Spring Break, this is a fun way to review math and writing skills. Students are able to measure the open distance, width, length, and depth of their project, write a “how to” report, and engage in the scientific process by noting their thoughts and steps. Students can work in pairs to create this project design and then share their creative work with their peers. This is a fabulous way to engage students in critical thinking to solve a problem.
The two STEM projects (Leprechaun and Rainbows) shared in this post come from a fabulous resource from Carson Dellosa called STEM Learning Cards. I love how this resource offeres a vareity of lessons that get students thinking. If you are looking for some STEM related lessons that engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math opportunities, check out this resource.
Another fun project is creating all the colors of the rainbow!! I have never found a “Pot ‘o Gold” at the end of the rainbow, but it is fun to think about finding that gold!!
For this fun project students will need a flashlight, magnifying glass, colored cellophane sheets, rubber bands, a clear cup of water, and a small mirror. Students will work with these materials to create a rainbow.
Allow students time to work with these materials and figure out how to create a rainbow. This is the opportunity for them to explore with materials, problem solve, engage in the scientific process, and develop perseverance. Depending upon the age of your learners, you may need to give them a little background information from BrainPop or Bill Nye the Science Guy.
When you are done, it’s always a great idea for students to reflect upon what they have experienced and write about their learning and pose additional questions that can be discovered next.
Another fun event coming up on March 20th is the Vernal Equinox! Again, check out this BrainPop video for some great learning!
So as you can see, there are some fun, educational learning opportunities for learners to engage in during this atypical time in regards to the Coronavirus. Keep the kiddos learning, have fun, and wash those hands.