Wednesday, March 25, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Art

This is a fun project that my students enjoy doing a few weeks before St. Patrick's Day.  First I read aloud from a few different St. Patrick/Irish books, like St. Patrick & the Peddler, Jamie O'Rourke & the Pooka, Daniel O'Rourke, etc.

Then I start with a mini lesson on some art vocabulary, including line, color, and mediums.  We talk about how we'll only be using one color, green, but that there are many shades of green, like we observed in the Irish texts from the Emerald Isles.  I discuss the different types of lines in art, like dotted, dashed, swirly, and straight lines (I also contrast this with the mathematical definition of line; in math, a line has to be perfectly straight and it goes on forever in both directions).  Last, I talk about the different mediums they'll be using- the paper shamrock, colored pencils, markers, crayons, and glue.

After showing a few examples of how to use a variety of green lines to decorate their shamrock, students are released to start their creations.  We glue them onto a black background for better contrast, and then write one Irish phrase on it.  Students can choose an Irish phrase they remember from one of our read alouds (with teacher check ins), or they can choose one from the list I display on the Smartboard.  Some of the phrases I display include:

It’s easy to halve a potato where there is love.
Mind the pooka!
Laughter is brightest where food is best.
Beware o’ the leprechaun!
Top o’ the morning to you!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
If you don’t know the way, walk slowly.
Saints preserve us!
Luck be with you!

There's an easy art lesson for a fun holiday!  What do you do for St. Patrick's Day or other spring holidays?  Leave your idea in the comments below.  Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!