It was fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with kids in two schools today! I only got pinched twice, and they regretted their hasty behavior because I proved that I was wearing green! (Thanks to my friend CJ for the crocheted shamrock pin…)
I thought back today to the first St. Patrick’s Day I celebrated with my very own class. I was determined to delight and surprise my little kindergarteners with lots of leprechaun fun! I had big plans and kicked off the excitement by (slightly) messing up the classroom while the kids were in gym. When they came back they found some of their little chairs topsy-turvy, their belongings scattered about the room, and some little green footprints winding their way across the tables. The back window was open just a tiny bit as well. They couldn’t believe their eyes and had all kinds of ideas about what might have happened while they were out of the room. Finally we all came to the conclusion (with some suggestion from me) that LEPRECHAUNS had invaded kindergarten!
The rest of the day was buzzing with conversation about these leprechauns–what did they want? Where did they come from? How did they get in? More importantly–what will they DO to us? We decided that the best way to find out (of course) was to set a trap. So they put their heads together and made a trap from an old box, some string, and (if I remember correctly) chalk as bait. (Hey…they were five!). When they left for the day they were just sure that they were going to find something in that trap the next morning!
After they left, I cleaned up the room–leaving some more little green footprints–and sprung the trap, leaving a pile of plastic gold coins and a note from the leprechaun explaining how tricky he was not to be caught. I turned off the lights and went home, satisfied that I had given them a nice bit of fun for St. Patrick’s Day.
Later that evening, my phone rang. It was a kindergarten mom. She wanted to know exactly what sort of activities I had done with the children because her son was too terrified to go to sleep. I apologized profusely and offered to talk with the little boy at school the next day. She said “Oh, no–you are going to tell him NOW that leprechauns are not real and you were the one playing the tricks!” And she put him on the phone. I did my best to reassure him and told him the truth about what I had done. Between sniffles, he agreed to go to sleep and not worry anymore that there was a leprechaun loose in his classroom.
After that call, I was a little too worried myself to sleep. What if I had scared other kids? I felt terrible! When morning came, I had decided that I would talk to the whole class and let them know that it was just some imaginary fun.
When my students walked in, however, most of them were absolutely delighted to peek around the doorframe and find the gold coins next to their trap. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to spoil that excitement or not–so I watched their reactions carefully. Sure enough, there were at least a couple of boys who were giving the trap a wide berth and looking a little wary. I decided to see if I could find out what they were thinking.
I asked them to go to their seats and draw a picture of the leprechaun that they thought had visited our room. I gave them the good paper and let them use their markers. When I walked around the room….I had my answer of why some of my students were so freaked out by the little visitor to our classroom.
Yep. They thought we had a leopard…
(This story is dedicated to my now-grown-up friend ST. I’m still really sorry that I scared you…)