Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clovers and Shamrocks - Our stART project

The other day my daughter asked me, "Mommy, when is Clover Day?" St. Patrick's Day is coming up in a few weeks, and it sounds like we have a little explaining to do when it comes to that holiday. To start off, this week we focused on clovers and shamrocks. Why are shamrocks associated with St. Patrick's Day? After some research we discovered that, according to legend, St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity - The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

"S is for Shamrock ... Try to find one. If you do, Irish luck will come to you."
S Is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet (Discover the World) by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Matt Faulkner Sleeping Bear Press; (February 2007); 40 pages; ISBN 9781585362905
Eve Bunting was born in Ireland. Several of her books are appropriate for St. Patrick's Day. In her book, S is for Shamrock, she describes places and things in Ireland, from the letters A to Z. Highly educational, some of the topics covered include the Blarney Stone, Claddagh, Giant's Causeway, Leprechauns, St. Patrick and, of course, the shamrock. A short poem accompanies each letter, with more detailed information for older children included in the sidebar. This would be a useful book for homeschooling because the layout makes the book interesting for children of various ages. Faulkner's detailed, colorful drawings accompany each letter and a map of Ireland is shown in the front of the book. My preschool daughter liked looking at the pictures and reading some of the poems, but the majority of the book is a tad too advanced for her age. Teacher's Guide (Review copy provided for free for review purposes by publisher)

"When new grass grows in the sunny meadow, what do rabbits do? Hop all over in the clover."
Spring Song by Barbara Seuling, illustrated by Greg Newbold. Gulliver Books/Harcourt; (March 2001); 32 pages; ISBN 9780152023171

We checked this book out because of the spring themed title, but the gorgeous illustrations by Greg Newbold clearly steal the show. I'd gladly frame a few of the pages and hang them on my walls - yes, they are that stunning! The front cover shows a beautiful painting of rabbits eating clovers and inside the book, paintings of spring landscapes and animals busy in the spring season fill the pages. The text by Seuling, in a questions and answers format, discusses animals' actions (bullfrog, bear, skunk, mole, eagle and rabbits) upon the arrival of spring. My daughter likes the frog picture, and I love all the rural landscapes. (Review copy from public library)

stART project - Bunnies in a Field of Clover Craft

Inspired by the pictures of bunnies eating clover in Spring Song, we made our own clover patch out of pipe cleaners and some playdough. The kids each made their own brown rabbit. We cut out rabbit shapes from brown construction paper, they used crayons to color parts of the rabbits white and pink, and then we attached cotton ball tails and googly eyes. We wanted to rabbits to stand up by themselves, so I cut out strips of paper, taped them in circles and stapled to the back of each rabbit. We had fun pretending the rabbits were eating the clover field using the book as the backdrop.

Post what you've been reading each week with your kids at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.


Unknown said...

My word- that is just simply adorable! I am also gonna check to see if I can find these stories at our library for our "Leapin' Leprechauns" week unit- thanks for the info!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Well, I've learned something! I didn't know Eve Bunting was born in Ireland! Her book looks fantastic! I'm going to look for it tomorrow at the library.

I LOVE what you did to extend the bunny book. It looks beautiful. It also looks like everyone had a great time!

Thanks for linking up to Read Aloud Thursday!

Jenny said...

I've never heard of those books. Spring Song sounds adorable! I've thought of framing pictures in books before.

I love the bunnies in the clover patch craft. They are so cute!

April said...

I thought that St. Pat's day was associated with clovers because they grew in Ireland. Cool, I learned something. And I love the pipe cleaner clovers...its an art project and a storytelling prop in one.

Debbie said...

Oh wow that Spring Song sounds like a great book. I am going to see if I can get it just in time to bring my bunnies out for Spring, and Easter!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for joining my linky! Wow - I love your pipecleaner shamrocks, and Spring Song sounds lovely. I had kind of the same experience with Sleeping Bear Press - the alphabet books are targeted to much older audience and way over the top for my daughter level.