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Primary STEM Unit for St. Patrick's Day, "Leprechaun Traps!"

This week we had lots of fun in my Kindergarten class putting our engineering skills to work with my primary STEM unit for St. Patrick's Day trying to catch a Leprechaun!  

One of my favorite ways to introduce a new concept is in the convergent style.  In this way you provide students the "pieces" and they find connections, draw conclusions, and converge on the topic in their own way and their own time.  It is so much fun to watch them figure out what we will be learning about next!
On Monday we read Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute and learned about old Irish folktales that say if you catch a Leprechaun he will give you his gold!  Then I provided my students ample time and lots of supplies to create their own Leprechaun traps.  They quickly set to work planning, creating, and building some pretty
neat contraptions!
Afterward we all gathered around each other and listened as students explained how their traps would work and question eachother on their plans.  We left the traps set at the end of the day (much to the dismay of the custodians who had much to clean around... but they were very good sports and asked that we share the gold with them.)

When students arrived on St. Patrick's Day morning they carefully walked around checking their traps.  But, that pesky Leprechaun just busted all the traps and had gotten away! *Wink! One little girl was shocked to find "green pee" in the toilet!  When we started up our Smart Board Calendar there was a message from the Leprechaun saying our traps were tricky, but we couldn't catch him.  He said he had left some special gold for us hidden in the classroom.  The students' disappointment at not trapping the Leprechaun melted as they devoured their chocolate gold coins at snack time!
For the remainder of the week we learned about Simple Machines and how they make work easier.  Since we ran out of time this week, we will take Monday to plan new Leprechaun traps (for next year, of course), and complete our extended response assessment.  You can check out our fun unit, "Leprechaun Traps," in my TpT store!


  1. OMG I love their creativity! And their giggly little faces pointing at the toilet :)

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  2. I loved reading this post and I'm so glad that you joined along for another blog hop. Your students are so engaged and this is really such an awesome higher order thinking activity. Have you used the convergent style for anything else? It really sounds like something my kids would enjoy too.

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain