St. Patrick’s Day

by Vicky on March 17, 2012

To get everyone in the mood for St. Paddy’s Day, I decided to tell the story I call “The Helpful Fairies,” which I learned from Margaret Read MacDonald (who calls it “The Little Old Woman Who Hated Housework”).  It’s a rollicking tale about an old woman who made the mistake of inviting a bevy of too-helpful fairies into her house, with disastrous results.

When I announced that I was going to tell them a story, all the kids immediately scooted up and clustered around me, their faces alight with anticipation.  It’s a longish tale, but I needn’t have worried about that because they all followed right along, joining lustily in the sound effects accompanying the fairies’ housework:

Klankety, klankety, klankety, klankety
Swishety, swishety, swishety, swishety
Flumpety, flumpety, flumpety, flumpety
Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety!

And I just discovered that there is now a picture book of this story: Too Many Fairies: A Celtic Tale, by Margaret Read MacDonald (illustrated by Susan Mitchell).

My puppet show was a dramatization of King Puck, by Michael Garland.

In this tale, the fairies are helpful in a good way.  Taking pity on lonely old Seamus and his goat Finny (who dreams of gaining wisdom like the fabled Finn MacCool), the fairies enchant the goat with the gift of gab.  Inspired by Ireland’s oldest fair and the town where it takes place, the book also celebrates books and reading—and librarians!

For our music and movement activities, we played “Follow My Leader” and “Mill and Grab” (when the leader calls out a number, players have to get into groups of that number).  The older kids loved this challenge, but the younger ones just joined onto the nearest group, so there was lots of milling as the older kids then subtracted themselves and tried to reform so as to keep the numbers correct.

The King Puck mask project was a hit with everyone!

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