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St. Patrick's Day in the Morning Free Unit Study

St. Patrick's Day in the Morning

Author:  Eve Bunting
Illustrator:  Jan Brett
ISBN: 0899191622
Summary:  Jamie seeks a way to prove he is not too young to march in the big St. Patrick's Day parade.

Literature Based Unit written by Ami Brainerd

Geography:  Ireland
Make a story disk to place on Ireland each day as you read this story.   You can also make a "wee flag" like the one Mrs. Simms gives to Jamie.  Make some green sashes to wear and wave your flag as you march to some Irish music in your own St. Patrick's Day "parade" at home!
Ireland's flag is a tricolor flag-- made of three equal-sized rectangles of orange, white, and green and first used in 1848. 

The green color on the flag represents the native people (most are Roman Catholic) of Ireland. The orange color represents the British supporters (most are Protestant) of William of Orange who settled in Northern Ireland in the 17th century. The white in the center of the flag represents peace between these two groups of people.

Prepared Flag Coloring Page (if  your student would like to paint it, print it on white cardstock)
Wee Flag to Color  (2 per sheet)
More Ireland Information
Ireland Outline Map (Enchanted Learning Members only)

Social Studies:  Growing Up
Point out some of the references in the book to your young child about Jamie feeling small--
"He climbed over his big brother...and his bigger brother"
"Jamie tried to snap his fingers the way Sean did."
"There was no sash for Jamie."
If your child has older siblings, discuss how he feels about being young.  Discuss (with all your children) the different privileges/responsibilities that come with being older/younger.

*Learning with Leprechauns Project Pack from Hands of a Child

Language Arts:  Vocabulary
fringes- an ornamental border consisting of hanging threads or strips
tatters- looks as if it has been torn and left hanging
spanned- to reach or extend across
wattle- a fleshy flap of skin hanging usually from the neck of a bird
refreshments- a light meal, a snack
mystery- something that has not been or cannot be explained

Prepared Vocabulary Cards for your Vocabulary Card Box or Lapbook (or whatever else you may want to use them for!)

Language Arts: Repetition
Ask your student what phrase is repeated in this book?  "What do they know?"  Why does Jamie say this so often (because he wants to prove to himself that he isn't little).   Sometimes authors give certain characters a catch phrase or include a refrain for familiarity to show the reader something about that character.   You may want to discuss with your older student why authors do this.  Would the story be as good if Eve Bunting would have simply stated -- "But Jamie didn't think he was little!"  INSTEAD of "What do they know?"  Try replacing "What do they know?" with "But Jamie didn't think he was little!"  As readers we lose insight to part of Jamie's character.  It is very important that authors show us the characters rather than just tell us about them.

Language Arts:  Punctuation-- Question Marks and Quotation Marks
This book provides a good opportunity to introduce the terms "question mark" and "quotations" -- you can point them out on almost every page.   With your older student, you can take the time to review the usage rules for question marks and quotation marks.   This would also be a good time to make sure your reader understands how to read a question.   Show her the different inflection in your voice when you read a question aloud.   Also teach her how to read an italicized word ("What do they know?") with emphasis-- plenty of practice available in this story!

Art:  Use of Color
After reading the book (a few times), ask your student what colors are used?  Why does your student think Jan Brett primary chose these colors for this story?  What was she trying to accomplish with her use of color? (emphasis of certain objects).   Where would your student have chosen to use color if he was drawing the same pictures?   Your student may want to try drawing a picture for St. Patrick's Day and using only green/yellow for emphasis on certain objects making careful, deliberate choices like artists do.

Your young child may have fun mixing blue/yellow to see what will happen.  Discuss the color green.  What objects in nature are green? You could also make your own book of green things.  If the weather is nice, go outside and let your student draw as many green things as she sees.  When you come back in from your nature walk, cut and paste the green things into a book. 

I Spy Green Printable Book  (scavenge around the house and outdoors--you can look out windows if the weather is yuck-- and let your student draw pictures to complete this book)

Green Coloring Sheet from Enchanted Learning *members only
Green Circle Book from Enchanted Learning

Art:  Musical Instrument-- Flute
The instrument Jamie tries to play along the way is his brother's flute.  You may want to delve into deeper discussion with your student about instruments, particularly woodwinds (the group that flutes belong to) pointing out the characteristics of that group.  They use vibrating air to produce their sound; they can be played with an open hole or with a reed.  The flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone are all members of this group.

You may also want to try to find some Irish music to listen to just for the fun (and cultural) experience of it!
Irish Lullaby Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (lyrics and music)
Irish Folk Songs (many samples to choose from; we like Bog Down in the Valley)

Math: Graphing with Jellybeans
Give your student about 50-60 jellybeans of different colors (less for the young ones). Using the Jelly Bean Graph, let your student chart the amount of each color jelly bean.   If this is too simple for your older student, teach her how to find the range, mean, median, and mode after she completes the graph.   First, have her write out the numbers (separated by commas) from smallest to largest.
Range= start with the highest number and subtract the lowest number
Median= the number in the middle
Mode= the number that appears the most times
Mean=  the average (add all the numbers up and divide by the number of different colors)

If your child (or one of your children) is very young, they may simply enjoy sorting the jelly beans by color and counting the total of each color with you.

Don't have any jelly beans on hand (or don't want to give your kids any candy?)?  No problem!  Use these Printable Jelly Beans for graphing (or for a memory game or include them in your lapbook).

Math:  Playing Store
If you like, you can set up shop (the Half-Way-Up Sweetshop) and let your student practice money math (counting back change, adding up dollars and cents, etc.).   From the illustrations, it looks like almost everything is marked 10p.  I'm not sure what this means in Ireland, but if you haven't introduced your younger student to money, it would be the perfect time to introduce the term dime to your student and to work with 10s (skip counting).

Science/Memory:  Listmaking (Animals)
With your very young child, you may simply want to play a memory game after you have read the book a few times to see if he can remember all the animals mentioned/pictured in the book (donkey, dog, rooster, chicken, and sheep).   You may also want to discuss Jamie's dog-- that he is a sheep dog and what that is.

Science: Senses
Make a chart with your student of the five senses and how they are exhibited in this book.   If that is too difficult of a task for your younger student, simply introduce the concept of the five senses and that we use are senses to explore the world around us.  Point out the way the Jamie used his senses and try to help your student think of the ways she uses hers.
Sound-- "Mrs. Mulligan's rooster cock-a-doodled"  "the clock tick-tocked"
Sight-- "the sky was the color of his mother's pearl brooch"  (lots of other examples, too; this one is always the easiest)
Taste-- ginger-ale
Touch-- "the stairs were cold on his bare feet"  "Jamie sat in the warm spot where she'd slept"
Smell-- the smoke of the chimneys

Use this Prepared Chart for your lapbook (use it to record how Jamie used his senses or how your student has used her senses throughout the day-- or print two and make one for each!)

Science: The Sun
"the sun jumped like a firecracker from behind the mountain"
Here are some facts about the sun that your student may enjoy learning about.  You may also want to check some non-fiction books out from the library about the sun.
    The sun is a star (a massive ball of exploding gases)
    Inside the sun, tiny particles (atoms) join together in a process called nuclear fusion to form helium; the result enables the sun to transmit
    huge amounts of heat and light-- sunshine!
    The sun measures about 875,000 miles across enabling it to hold over 1 milLion planets the same size as earth!
    Layers of the sun (starting with the outside working in)
            *Corona-- the outer part
            *Photosphere-- the sun's surface that is made of churning gases
            *Convective Zone-- carries the sun's energy up to the photosphere
            *Radiative Zone-- the heat being produced in the core spreads through this zone in waves
            *Core-- the very inner part of the sun; the temperature here is over 27 milLion F! 
Other topics to research and study-- solar wind, sun spots, sun safety, and eclipses

On-line Sun Quiz at Enchanted Learning

Bible:  Giving
Mrs. Simms is a very giving person.  Can your student remember the different things she gives to Jamie?  (a bottle of ginger ale, a bun with a cherry on top, some jelly beans to Nell, and a flag for Jamie to carry in the parade.    Can your student remember someone else giving something to Jamie? (Hubble the Hen Man gives him an egg).   The Bible reminds us in II Corinthians 9:7 that God loves a cheerful giver!  This would be a great memory verse for the week.  Discuss with your student practical ways in which he can be a cheerful giver.

Just for Fun
Mrs. Simms gives Jamie some Ginger-ale.  Try some with your student.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts and Printables at Enchanted Learning

St. Patrick's Day Counting from bry-back manor

Simple St. Patrick's Day Word Find

For information on St. Patrick, please see Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland (another unit study for St. Patrick's Day)

Add to your St. Patrick’s Day Study! 
In the Hands of a Child Learning with Leprachauns Project Pack
In the Hands of a Child St. Patrick’s Day Lapbook!  (over 90 printable pages!)