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Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: Emily Arnold McCully
ISBN: 0618354107
Summary: As storm clouds gather ominously in the Irish sky, three diminutive leprechauns rouse themselves to dig up their pot of gold and place it at the end of the coming rainbow. Ari hurries Col and Boo along the country road, intent on accomplishing their task, but the friends cant resist stopping to pull some mischievous pranks along the way, because that's what leprechauns do.

Unit Prepared by Ami Brainerd

Target grades for unit:  K-1, but can be adapted for younger or older.

Lapbooking Components


Practical Jokes Minit Book
Rainbow Window Book
Cloud Shape Book
Flag of Ireland Minit Book
Watercolor Rainbow Book
Dressing for the Weather Tab Book
Where is Ireland? Minit Book
Vocabulary Fan Book
Counting by 3 Layered Book
Leprechaun Pranks Pull-tab
Pocket for Creative Writing
Leprechaun Legends Book




Geography- Ireland
Using your world map, help your student locate Europe and then locate Ireland. 
Ireland is an island off western Europe in the Northern Atlantic Ocean.  The capital city is Dublin (you may want to locate this on the map as well).  

Ireland is known for it's vast green land and has a cool, often-cloudy climate.  (Look at the illustrations and point out the clouds.  If you've shared St. Patrick's Day in the Morning with your student, you may recall the cloudy skies in that book as well.)

Ireland's flag is made of three equal-sized rectangles of orange, white and green. The green is by the flagpole.

Lapbook Component
Where is Ireland? Minit Book
Flag of Ireland Minit Book

Legends:  Leprechauns
Eve Bunting provides Leprechaun Legends information at the back of the book.  Read through the information with your student, and help him record what he learned in this Leprechaun Legends Book.

Human Relationships- Practical Jokes
The leprechauns in our story are very mischievous.  They play all kinds of pranks on people.  Explain to your student that sometimes practical jokes are funny, but sometimes they can be mean.  If a joke could cause someone to get hurt (or hurt their feelings) or scare someone, it's not funny.  However, there are lots of fun jokes we can play on people.  Since April Fool's Day is right around the corner, consider letting your student choose some pranks to play on some family or friends.

Lapbook Component
Practical Jokes Minit Book


mischief- causing or tending to cause minor injury
duty- something you do because you have to or because you should
delay- to move or act slowly
long-johns- long underwear
arched- forming a curved shaped

Help your student remember these words and their meanings by completing this part of the lapbook component: Vocabulary Fan Book

Language Arts:  Listmaking
Recall and record the leprechauns' mischievous acts.

Lapbook Component: Leprechaun Pranks Pull-tab

Language Arts:  Creative Writing
After completing the listmaking exercise above, have your student create his own list of funny jokes leprechauns could play on people.  Write a story including these mischievous acts.  You may need to help your student choose a setting and a conflict for his story.  
Lapbook Component:
Pocket for Creative Writing

Language Arts Review: Simile
Before your daily reading, review similes (a comparison using like or as).  Tell your student to listen for the simile in the story and to raise his hand when he hears it--
"quick as a cat pounce"; after you finish reading, try to think of other "quick as a ______________" similes together. 


Medium - Watercolor
Look at the beautiful watercolor rainbow illustration.  Discuss how you can tell it's watercolor and not pencil, ink, or acrylic.  Get our your student's watercolors (Prang really do work the best!).  Let him experiment with different amounts of water and paint to create different effects.  What happens as he adds more water?  Less water?
Encourage your student to create a watercolor rainbow (he may even want to add a sky and clouds).    If you've already completed the science lesson, you may want to remind your student the order of the colors of the rainbow as he paints.

Lapbook Component:  Cut and paste your student's creation in this book-- 
Watercolor Rainbow Book


Learn the colors of the rainbow in order:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.   Many people use the "name" ROY G. BIV to help them remember the correct order.

Give your student a paint palette (we use plastic lids!) with red, yellow, blue, and violet paint. 
Show your student the order of the rainbow colors.  What happens when she mixes red and yellow?  What happens when she mixes yellow and blue?  What happens when she mixes blue and violet?  Isn't that fun?!

Lapbook Component--
Rainbow Window Book

My son has often asked, "what are clouds made of?"  You may want to ask your student this question.  Does she know?  What does she think they could possibly be?  Clouds are made up of milLions of tiny droplets of water and ice.  Each of these droplets of water is smaller than a grain of flour, and they are so light that they can float on air.  Get out some flour.  Can you find an individual grain?  Show the flour to your student and explain that the water droplets in a cloud are tiny!

Lapbook Component-
Cloud Shape Book 

Health: Dressing for the Weather
When the rain starts to come down, the leprechauns "pull their green slickers from their backpacks and settled their caps low to their ears."  Why did they do this?  Discuss with your student the importance of dressing for the weather.   Why do we wear hats in the winter?  Why is it a good idea to use an umbrella when it rains?  Why do we use sunscreen in the summer?  

Lapbook Component:
Dressing for the Weather Tab Book


Calendar Skills
The book makes reference to "a month of Sundays."  Count the number of Sundays in the month of March.  How many this year?
Does your student know how many full weeks makes a month?    Get out a calendar and the weeks in each month.

Skip Counting by Threes
There are three leprechauns in this book.  After a reading, go back through the book and count the group of three leprechauns in the illustrations.   To do this, you can use skip counting by 3s.   You may want to review this activity each day.

Lapbook Component: Counting by 3 Layered Book

Fun Manipulatives!
Use chocolate coins for math manipulatives this week.  You could use them for counting by threes, or you could make up some simple addition and subtraction problems with the chocolate coins.  Here are a few examples:
Elijah found three chocolate coins and Simon found six.  How many total? 
Elijah ate two of his chocolate coins.  How many does he have left?
Simon has six coins and he found one more.  How many does he have now?

St. Patrick's Day FUN!
Get visited by a leprechaun!   Pictures and ideas used with permission from this
homeschooling mom's blog

Leprechauns were in this house!  They left footprints on the counter...

Those mischievous leprechauns stringed the kitchen!

Looks like they had some fun with the Lucky Charms!

But, they are forgiven...they left behind pots of golden coins (the chocolate kind!)