Our Learning Story. Rainbows, Booby Traps and Leprechauns!

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1 The Story/Noticing Our Learning Story Rainbows, Booby Traps and Leprechauns! Tots Preschool Roseberry Hill, Newbridge Key Workers Sinead Carroll and Melissa McEvoy We had all been singing songs leading up to Saint Patrick s Day, some were Irish songs and one was all about the history of Saint Patrick. We were also listening to a rhyme about a tricky leprechaun. Later that day, Siun, Dillon, Aoibhinn, Eloise and Donnacha were in the role play area talking to each other. Dillon Do you know a leprechaun? Ewan replied He s a green man, he s tricky and he steals gold from the bottom of the rainbow Dillon said I know, hey we need to set a booby trap to catch a leprechaun, just like in Scooby Doo! Recognising Melissa and Sinead were very interested in this conversation and asked the children would they like to share their idea with the class during circle time, they told everyone straight away they couldn t wait until circle time! We recognised a great opportunity to get creativity, imagination and a sense of wonder and awe flowing in the class. Responding Melissa and Sinead responded to the children s interest by asking the children if they would like to share their idea with the rest of the class. After Dillon told everyone they were going to make a booby trap to catch a leprechaun everyone got very excited. Emma replied we need to find a rainbow cos the leprechaun will be at the gold Eloise We could use a spider trap so he would get stuck to the web Donnacha Were gonna trap him in the trap, he ll be in the trap, we get the gold and there we will be rich! Dillon I m going to disguise myself as gold and lead him into my trap! Josh We could paint bits of cardboard gold and leave it out for him and catch him. We asked the children if they thought Leprechauns look like us and if they have names just like us. Josh replied Ha-ha no! They have names like Irish names. We then followed that answer with a question Do you know any Irish names? Sara said St. Patrick, Conor W replied I have a baby brother called Sean, Kitty My cousin s name is Seamus, Reiltin My name is Irish and it means star Donnacha shouted My uncle always calls me Seamus. The children went on to explain what they thought a leprechaun might look like, Orla I think he has red curly hair and a beard.

2 Responding to Emma s comment about needing to find a rainbow, Sinead and Melissa showed the class a video all about how rainbows are created. The children really enjoyed this and were full of ideas after. Emma said We need water and light to make a rainbow. A few days later Donnacha noticed it was lovely and sunny outside and shouted hey we need to go make rainbows now!. We gathered our spray bottles and filled them with water. Sara Hey look I can see a rainbow, Cillian I hope the Lepreking can see our rainbows, Emily I can see blue and orange and yellow, Conor W But I don t see any gold Everybody helped to gather all of the materials that we needed to make a trap, the arts, crafts and creativity began when all of the children started to create a trap. They all worked as a team and helped to make different parts of the trap. We all got to work straight away, each child chose a table they would like to help at and the Leprechaun Trap creating began. Leah It s green for St. Patricks Day, Sara We re making gold coins to trick the Leprechaun. Donnacha Sinead look at our gold factory, Cillian is passing the gold, I m gluing it and Sara is putting on the gold, Eloise I m making a spider web so the Leprechaun will stick to it, Emma Can we cut out pictures of the rainbows and stick them on the trap?. When the trap was finished the children placed it on top of a shelf, Sara made a trail of gold leading up to the trap and the children also left a large pot of pretend gold to trick the Leprechaun.

3 We had noticed how involved all of the children were in this whole process of creation and imagination and were really interested in helping develop their sense of wonder and awe further. The children arrived in the next morning to preschool and Ewan had noticed there were small mucky footprints left in the bathroom. Ewan said It must have been the Leprechaun; I can t believe he has made such a mess. Later that day at snack time Sara, Donnacha, Rhys, Emma and Dillon s lunches had been all swapped around. Dillon Hey this is not my lunch, Sara said laughing My daddy must have given Donnacha my lunch, he s silly! Aoibhinn said from across the room I think it was the Leprechaun. The children noticed small footprints leading up the side of the shelf and at the top there was a tiny little note and on it he told us his name Sean Seamus. All of the boys and girls thought Sean Seamus was a big trickster always playing tricks on them! The next day we arrived in to find toilet paper and paint all over the room! Josh said he thought there could be two leprechauns because there were two colours of paint and different coloured foot prints. Rhys found a rope leading out the window he used this to climb up and make footprints. Josh I think the rope was over the bags and he must of climbed in when we were sleeping and got out again.

4 Great excitement in the room led to more exploring, which led them to a crock of shamrock with yet another note from Sean Seamus. Mia R shouts out I love Sean Seamus, he plays lots of tricks but he s nice, he left us a present. The next morning we had a room full of very excited children shouting we got gold coins, we got gold coins, and we think they re from Sean Seamus! We couldn t believe the energy in the room, the excitement and wonder captured in every child. They had all found gold coins in different places in their houses. Siun and Conor W s mammy sent us in these lovely pictures when they found gold coins in their home! Snack time brought more mystery when the children discovered pictures in their lunch bags; it seemed to be a picture of Sean Seamus in their house at the end of the rainbow holding a pot of gold. The children then realised he must have dropped some when he was visiting! Emily got so excited when she found this picture in her bag, Sinead, Melissa look it s my bedroom! Sean Seamus was in it! The next day the children arrived into preschool saying none of them could find Sean Seamus at home, Reiltin said Guys, its St. Patricks day tomorrow I think he must be gone back to Leprechaun world.

5 Recording Throughout this whole journey we have recorded the children s thoughts, ideas and negotiations by taking notes and developing this story through photographs. We have worked very closely with parents and they have been able to send us pictures which in turn have brought a sense of home to preschool for each child. The day the children found the pictures in their bags, we video recorded all of their excitement and expressions which we will show them at their Graduation. We also made a learning journal together which has been proudly displayed on our wall for everyone to see. Revisiting The children love revisiting this story and are so proud showing their parents their learning journal telling the story of Sean Seamus. They all wonder if he will be back next St. Patricks Day.

6 Reflecting After completing the learning journal together we all sat down to have a look at it. They all got very excited again laughing about the tricks Sean Seamus had played. We asked them about the trap that they made and if they would change anything if they did it again. Orla said We could make it bigger next time cos the leprechaun might get bigger. Radha thought for a moment I would make it invisible. Conor R added That s a good idea, Radha. Looking back over this whole learning journey we have experienced with the kids has really opened our eyes to the endless imagination and creativity they have. We have learned that providing materials to help them develop these skills is so important. The children made us think like children and really brought a sense of magic, wonder and awe into the room which we as teachers are so grateful for. We have certainly realised that following the children s interests can lead to a whole new exciting adventure for both the children and for us as practitioners. Our plans for further development include the introduction of a new theme of construction to include how buildings are built and what makes them strong. Our aim is to encourage the children to reflect on how they made their trap and apply this new learning to old learning.

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