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St. Patricks Day Craft for Upper Elementary

The week before March Break in Upper Elementary classrooms can be a little crazy. Well, let’s be honest, as soon as March 1 hits, the mood in class changes with the countdown looming to the break. But with St. Patricks Day right in the middle of the month, there’s a way to harness students’ excitement with a holiday-themed learning opportunity. 

I love doing fun crafts and activities to keep the kids engaged and entertained, but always want them to be a little bit more than just a craft. This St. Patricks Day craft aligns with the theme of the holiday (lucky charms) but also has a social-emotional learning component as students come up with things they are grateful for.

All to say, it’s an ideal way to add a seasonal element to grab students’ attention and focus on a worthy lesson tied to social-emotional learning! 

St. Patricks Day craft for upper elementary heading with a seasonal image of green and gold notebooks and accessories

Introducing the Lesson

Before students even arrive at class, I put on some calming music to set the stage for them and for me too! 

The beginning of the lesson for this St. Patricks Day craft is all about explaining the concept of gratitude. Some may already know the meaning of the word but make sure everyone is clear on the vocabulary! 

Once the term is defined, come up with a bunch of examples of things people can be grateful for and move beyond the basics to look for the little things too!

This is a good opportunity for some collaborative work by having students brainstorm as a group. I like to have them think first, talk with a partner, and then share with the class. This usually encourages more of my students to participate.

To tie into the idea of gratitude, I like to discuss mindfulness too. I focus on how we can take these moments in school to slow down and connect with ourselves and the present moment. Through this we’re able to discuss “quieting the chatter” in our minds so that we can really be present in thinking about what we are grateful for.

The St. Patricks Day Craft

After the introduction of the concept of gratitude is the creative element where students work on the craft. The focus is on the creation of Gratitude Charms! 

There are multiple versions of the craft in this St. Patricks Day Craft resource. There is a no-cut version, which is great for younger grades, and an option that requires students to cut out a variety of shapes. You can pick what’s best for the whole class or provide a choice with the different options. Lots of possibilities to differentiate for those in your room. 

st patricks day craft for upper elementary product feature

The first step is to have your students fill in the charms with things they are grateful for. Here they can apply the brainstorming they did as a collective to pick their individual ideas. Once they’ve chosen their elements of gratitude, they can then colour the charms, and cut them out, if applicable.

If students are doing the garland, you will need a hole punch and some string. To assemble the garland they can hole punch each charm to tie them together. You can also use paper clips for assembly if you have enough.

Writing Portion (Optional) 

Once students have done the charm portion of the St. Patricks Day craft, you can end the lesson and move to whatever is next on your agenda or you can extend this moment of gratitude with a number of writing templates. This can add a bit more to this activity by including a mini-lesson on paragraph writing. 

Introduce or review the components of paragraph writing with your class including the need for an introduction, supporting points, and a conclusion. 

Give students time to reflect a bit more on what they’re grateful for; this adds a bit more of the mindfulness I mentioned earlier. 

Finally, you can also work on the process of revision and editing with student writing. This is especially useful if you plan on displaying them!

st patricks day craft for upper elementary product highlights

Benefits of Mindfulness & Social-Emotional Learning

As busy as our schedules get with the curriculum, slowing down and doing a mental reset like this can be really helpful for the kids. And let’s be honest, it’s helpful for us as teachers too. It’s a chance to wander the room to chat and connect with students on a different level. Plus, you can integrate a seasonal event such as St. Patricks Day into your classroom in a meaningful way with this resource.

What’s more, being grateful is a great lesson they can take with them for years to come! Taking time to write down what you’re grateful for is a way to focus on positive emotions and take note of personal achievements, which is helpful in building self-esteem. 

I also love a moment to let “kids be kids” in the older grades. Colouring can be fun! And, a period of colouring, quiet chatter, and music can be transformative for their mental health and alertness for the rest of the day.

Related posts you might want to check out to prepare for what is next in the school year:

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I’m Katarina and I teach elementary students in Toronto, Canada. I’m passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that students will love and remember. If you are looking to improve your classroom management and engage your students with easy-to-implement resources and tools, you’re in the right place!

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