March always makes me think of St. Patrick’s Day and shamrocks. It also makes me think of rainbows – as in the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. So, rainbows are the inspiration for the March poem of the month: a color poem. I always love to read Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neill to introduce this activity. Then we practice writing similes. I have kids choose an item of any color they like and write similes about the items. These similes become the color poems. They start out with the line “A ________ is as ________ as” followed by a list of items the same color as the first item. Then comes the line “A ________ is ________ like” followed by a list of more items of that color. The last line of the poem is “A ______ is ______!” This way children get to practice writing similes using both like and as based on just what they see around them – no one needs to get writer’s block because the kids simply need to look around to get their ideas. Here is a poem about the color blue written by a third grader:
A button is as blue as
A button is blue like
A button is blue!
After the poems are written, I have kids recopy them in the colors about which they are written, mount them on those colors, and decorate them with rainbow stickers. I like to display them on a board with a big rainbow – a nice way to brighten up the classroom and welcome spring!
There are so many cute craft projects using kids’ handprints out there on Pinterest. I found this one last year, and I made it with our daughter to hang on the fridge during the month of March.
Trace your child’s hand. You only have to trace it once – a good thing if your toddler is less than thrilled about staying still long enough for multiple tracings! Cut out the hand shape and use it as a pattern to make a hand print in each color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Glue the handprints so that they overlap in a curved rainbow shape in rainbow order on a light blue background. Add a black pot with some gold glitter on the top. Hang it up to display during March and enjoy!
When I was in elementary school, my mom was room mother extraordinaire. She was legendary around the school – at the beginning of each school year kids would be excited if they were placed in the same class as me because that meant great holiday parties from my mom. She brought treats for every holiday – not just the big obvious ones like Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day but the little ones like St. Patrick’s Day too. Whenever there was a day that had the remote possibility of being a celebrate-able holiday, kids would greet me at the classroom door asking if my mom would be making an appearance.
It’s sad to me that kids can no longer have these types of memories. Holiday parties are now often banned by principals because they are not covered on standardized tests. Once I even had to sneak in a Valentine’s Day party during recess time so that my students could still experience it without losing class time. Or if the parties are allowed to happen they are limited to only a few minutes and treats must be purchased from a store instead of homemade.
So I figure, if kids today can’t have the type of class party my mom used to throw, I can at least give my own daughter the same treats and experiences at home. For St. Patrick’s Day, my mom always made green apple juice and green cupcakes. For the apple juice, just add green food coloring to the juice. The kids always enjoy watching the green color spread throughout the juice.
Green Apple Juice Before
Green Apple Juice After
For the cupcakes, add green food coloring to white cake mix batter and bake as usual.
Green Cupcake Batter
Frost with white icing and decorate.
St. Patrick’s Day Treat
And have your own little St. Patrick’s Day party at home!