Sunday, March 8, 2015

Don't leave it up to LUCK

I grew up thinking I was seriously, I did. 
My last name started with the traditional "Mc" and my paternal grandfather had an "ode to Ireland" in his basement. Not to mention my dad's uncanny ability to speak like an authentic Irishman. 

But alas, that bubble was popped almost 10 years back when my grandfather informed my family that in fact, we were most likely of Scottish descent.

Um, what?! 
(Identity crisis in the making.) 

How am I supposed to explain my heritage and my long-standing proclamation of Irish blood IF I am NOT actually Irish in ancestry??? AHHHH!

Okay, so it wasn't a huge crisis, but it was a bit shocking. Fortunately my sweet little guy doesn't have to worry about his links to Ireland, my husband's side of the family has strong ties to the Emerald Isle. 

My sweet hubby is actually a native of Savannah (GA) and grew up celebrating St. Patrick's Day with the best of them. And since dating/marrying, I've learned how to hold my own right along with them. St. Patrick's Day is NOT just one-little-ole day down in the Hostess City, it's a month long event...go check it out if you've never been...I've heard it holds its own in comparison to the big events in Boston and NYC. 

With all the green-wearin', shamrock-shakin' hoopla that I've experienced over the years, I've always wondered about the "real" story behind the festive day and who exactly was this snake-chasin' Saint Patrick. And that, my friends, is how I found myself at it again...researching another holiday and its origins. 

WOW! The facts were plentiful and very contradictory to what I grew up believing. YIKES!
One site lead to another lead to another and before I knew it, I was learning so much about this Saint Patrick guy. 
And if you know me, I need to share this here it is. 
{Click image or HERE to purchase}
With so much information, I was able to create 6 different non-fiction passages with corresponding comprehension sheets for group or independent reading. 

But who just wants the facts? 
Let's make them colorful by turning them into CRAFTS!
I love watching my kiddos turn the information they've read on a page into something they can create. Each of these crafts can be done in isolation or combined to create a larger project.
And what's the best part? 
ALL of the templates are provided so you just have to print and pass out. 
Students can use the reading passages to fill their pots with pieces of gold(en) facts. 
I like to write in facts that I found interesting or new knowledge.

Attach the Comprehension Cloud after answering the description text features. 
Students can choose any of the passages to complete this activity.

 And just because he's cute and it's not St. Patrick's Day without is a leprechaun craft.
Quick and easy for students to do independently.

To round out the fun, these text structure graphic organizers were created to help students understand how authors organize non-fiction texts. While the provided reading passages are formatted in a paragraph style, students can utilize each of the 5 text structure graphic organizers to draw information/conclusions. 

Here I used the Patrick's Past reading passage and the Sequence of Events graphic organizer to lay out a timeline of important events. After a passage and graphic organizer are selected and completed, students can use the provided template to write an expository piece. 

Now, that I know more about the "real" story behind St. Patrick's Day and how the tradition lives on today, I'm ready to go throw on my green and start pinching you unlucky lads and lassies (only kidding, I don't like hurts!!!)


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