Friday, March 9, 2012

A Leprechaun's Visit

I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed when I found out that St. Patrick's Day was going to be during our school's Spring Break. After all, one of my favorite memories of kindergarten is the day the Leprechaun visited us. I was not about to let my kindergarteners miss this life-changing experience, so I decided we'd make our own St. Patrick's Day on the Friday before the break. We all wore green to school and while the kids were at PE, I placed a trail of sparkling green grass and small leprechaun foot prints leading from our classroom door to their individual cubbies.

Inside, I placed a piece of Gold (Werther's gold-wrapped caramels). During the decorating process, teachers and students form other classes oohhed and awwed from the hallway. I turned off the lights and closed the door as I went to pick up the kids from PE. When we returned, I was the first one in, so I turned on the lights and looked at their faces. I expected they'd know right away that a Leprechaun had come, but mostly, their faces had a concerned look on them as they were wondering what was going on in our classroom. They looked over each others shoulders trying to figure it out. So, I played it up; "OHHHHH!!!!! WOOOOOOW!!!! A Leprechaun was here! Look...he left a trail!" THEN they understood. All at once they were laughing and smiling and jumping up and down with excitement, admiring the tiny footprints on their hands and knees and following them to their cubbies where they were overjoyed at the gold the nice leprechaun had left.

Once they ate their candies, they ran around the room trying to find the little man and Mason even came up to me beaming and said, "Teacher, I didn't think Leprechauns were real, but now I KNOW they are!" As the 20 excited 5 year olds were calming down again, I suggested we carefully pick up the magic grass and place them in a bag so we could keep it for good luck. Once all the grass was safely in the ziplock, we (well, I did) wrote a note (with their help) to the Leprechaun, thanking him for the wonderful surprise.

We drew pictures of what happened and posted them on our outside bulletin board along with the letter.

It was without doubt the greatest moment of my teaching career. And if they're like me when they get older and only remember this about their kindergarten experience, I will be more than satisfied :) Happy St. Patrick's Day!