Between the leprechauns and the elusive search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there’s no denying that kids get excited about St. Patrick’s Day! As teachers, it’s important to build upon that excitement and interest. I love to do that through literature. Here are some great books to read with your students near St. Patrick’s Day. Some of these have great tie-ins to other curricular areas, but some are just plain fun to read!
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ST. PATRICK’S DAY PICTURE BOOKS
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day is a great book to read in the days leading up to the holiday. In this rhyming story, Tim and Maureen set traps all around their house hoping to catch a leprechaun. When they catch a real, live leprechaun, they learn just how tricky leprechauns can be!
Once your students have read that story, they might be interested in making a leprechaun trap of their own. If you’re working on procedural (how-to) writing, you definitely need to look into How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace and Lucky O’Leprechaun by Jana Dillon. You can grab some free how-to writing resources to use with these texts here.
The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever! is a rhyming story. It is a quick-read filled with many characters around town getting ready for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. After the parade, friends and family gather together for a big lunch.
Green Shamrocks is another quick-read. Rabbit has been growing shamrocks from seeds for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. But on the morning of the big day, his shamrocks are missing. Will he find them in time?
Ten Lucky Leprechauns is a rhyming book that counts up from 1-10. Your kids will catch on quickly to the repeating phrase, “Fiddle-de-fizz, ’tis magic, it is!” as they discover each of the leprechauns in the story.
The Littlest Leprechaun is part of a series I have mentioned before. In this story, Liam is the littlest leprechaun in the Enchanted Forest. He is too little to measure, too little to run, and too little to lift and carry important treasure. But is he too little to make a new friend?
That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting is a bit longer in length. This story follows three playful leprechauns who are trying to reach their pot of gold before the rainbow comes. Can they resist playing a few tricks along the way?
After reading a few of these books, your students might be ready to write their own stories. The book Lucky Tucker pairs really well with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Your students can even write their own Lucky Day stories using this pot of gold craft.
The Leprechaun’s Gold is a classic Irish legend in which two harpists—merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom—set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner—but he doesn’t reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun. This is another one that is longer in length.
Too Many Leprechauns is another story that is longer in length. In this story, the leprechauns are noisy neighbors — and they’re turning the entire town of Dingle upside down! Fortunately, Finn O’Finnegan always has a clever plan brewing, and this time, with a little luck of the Irish, it’s a scheme that just might fool even the cleverest of creatures.
Another Irish Folktale is Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato. In this story, Jamie O’Rourke is the laziest potato farmer in all of Ireland. One day he catches a leprechaun. Instead of giving away his gold, the leprechaun gives the farmer a seed to plant, which ends up feeding the entire village!
Another great book is The Story of the Leprechaun. In the story, Katherine Tegen helps to explain why the leprechaun chose to hide his gold at the end of the rainbow. Your students can use this leprechaun craft to display the three wishes they would make if they caught a leprechaun. You can learn more about this story here.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY CHAPTER BOOKS
For second and third grade readers, The Bailey School Kids series has some entertaining books. Leprechauns Don’t Play Basketball is great for St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re reading it with your small group, I have already created a book companion which has comprehension questions for each chapter along with several graphic organizers to help guide students through the text.
The Bailey School Kids series also has this holiday special. In Leprechauns Don’t Play Fetch, the kids are trying to find out if the owner of the Clover Patch Pet Store really is a leprechaun. You can find a book companion for this chapter book here.
I am a BIG Magic Tree House fan, but have not really gotten into the Merlin Missions. However, the authors do have two books out that are great for St. Patrick’s Day. First up is the fictional story, Leprechaun in Late Winter. Jack and Annie travel to long-ago Ireland to help inspire a girl named Augusta to share her creativity with the world.
As with many of their stories, the authors have written a nonfiction companion. This Magic Tree House Fact Tracker helps answer questions about leprechauns, fairies, and other Irish folklore. You can find a companion for this book here.
I hope you have found a few good books to share with your students. If you have any other book suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day, leave a message for me below.