Activity for ages 5 to 8.
Designing and creating leprechaun traps is one of my favorite activities for March! Kids can come up with amazing ideas if you simply give them an opportunity to be creative and BUILD!
I prefer to view it as a project based learning (PBL) opportunity by having families send in materials for the students to create their traps at school – either in groups or as individuals – but students could also make their traps at home.
I think creating them at school allows for more creativity and teamwork as opposed to a bunch of parents rushing around buying materials the night before it’s due.
I wanted to extent our activity into a writing project after kids finished their traps, so I whipped up a simple, yet effective, how-to booklet for students to explain how to create a leprechaun trap!
Preparing the Activity
To prep this activity, I printed out the various cover sheets onto cardstock. Then, I printed out the writing pages with the words First, Next, Then, and Finally on them.
There is a blank page included in the download, but I wanted to provide some structure for my first graders by giving them the sentence starter version.
How to Create a Leprechaun Trap
To get started, I facilitated a discussion on our classroom carpet about how awesome our leprechaun traps turned out.
I told my students that, just like many famous architects share their building plans, we were going to write out the step-by-step plans for how we created our traps.
My students LOVE “how-to” books, so they immediately perked up!
I showed off the various choices they would have for their covers, and then I explained that they would need to be detailed enough in their writing so that others could try to replicate their work.
I held up the pages with First, Next, Then, and Finally on them, and stated my expectation that they would fill at least half of each page, use nice handwriting, and add interesting details.
Underneath our classroom document camera, I started writing a sample so that my students would have an idea how to start their work.
Students helped me with ideas on what to write, but I was secretly using my “teacher talk” to reinforce the need for writing conventions like capital letters at the beginning, “finger spaces,” and punctuation at the end.
After making sure we were all on the same page, I sent my students off to work and I encouraged them to meet with their peers throughout the writing process.
A few days of editing and revising later, we were ready to hang up our how-to books and display our leprechaun traps!