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Best Irish Picture Books for St. Patrick’s Day

I’m a lover of all things Irish and Picture books. St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect reason to bring them together. Below are a few of my very VERY favorites. I feel like I hold a pretty high standard for my picture books. If you’re looking for a new addition to your classroom library or a picture book that works well in both the younger and older grades, check these lovelies out. If you are looking for ideas for St. Patrick’s Day, make sure to check out this post as well! 

Fiona’s Luck: So much love for this one. Strong Irish girl, takes on the Leprechaun King. Instead of relying on luck she depends on her wit. Beautiful story, a beautiful theme about believing in yourself and making your own luck.

O’Sullivan Stew: Another fun story starring a young Irish heroine that has to rely on her wits to outsmart a King! This one contains hints of Irish folklore that is sure to be appreciated by all. There is also a really sweet moral to be taken away about being kind to everyone. “Everyone is One of Us.”

Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure: A young Irish Heroine who takes charge of her fate… Are you noticing a theme in my recommendations… also do you notice any similarities to Brave Margaret and another BRAVE princess??? The illustrations are really something else. This book is based on an old traditional Irish story where a prince instead of a princess needs the saving.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: Though the Leprechaun’s stature may not be quite right please notice that he is wearing red, with a leather apron! Before we commercialized St. Patrick’s Day this is how leprechauns were described, I love that the look is consistent! This story is an absolute classic that illustrates just how clever a leprechaun is and how hard it would be to outsmart one.

Tim O’ Toole and the Wee Folk: This one makes the list for sticking to Irish Folktale. Love that it correctly refers to the leprechauns as the wee people and that they stay true to their mischievous slightly dangerous…er violent… nature. Students love it, and it’s a great book for teaching idioms.

Fin M’Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill: There are many stories about this Irish Giant that have been passed down for years and years. This story highlights an Irish couple that outsmarts the Giant Fin M’Coul. You can’t go wrong with Tomie De Paola illustrations! However, if you are looking for a story that sticks to the Fin M’Coul legends you may be interested in this Fin M’Coul story as well!

Patrick: Patron Saint of IrelandI love this introduction to Saint Patrick’s life. This book is religious in nature, simply because the life of Saint Patrick was filled with divine inspiration. I love that Tomie De Paola also tells of the fictional legends that surrounded Saint Patrick’s life, like the removal of snakes from the country. I appreciate that you can pick up on the themes from his life such as never giving up, even if the people around you are telling you to. Remarkable man, remarkable life.

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day: This is a really sweet story and the takeaway and conversation you can have with your class are wonderful. The story is essentially about two cities that compete in a decorating contest every St. Patrick’s Day. One city continues to dominate the competition, this year the other city has a great chance at victory however a stranger comes along and they have to make a tough decision. Great for discussing the importance of being kind, and serving others.

The Irish Cinderlad: Irish Cinderella, with a MALE protagonist! LOVE LOVE LOVE. Great story, that actually combines two Irish Folklores. Perfect to compare and contrast with the more well known telling of Cinderella, (ahem my favorite Disney Princess… we all have one.) Having the courage to overcome seems to be a similar theme you can find in both stories! I think you will be surprised with who take on the Fairy Godmother’s role!

S is for Shamrock: Possibly my favorite of the lot. You get a bit of Irish everything with this one: legends, facts, history, sites…etc! Upper grades don’t count this out because it’s an alphabet book. Younger grades don’t count it out because I mentioned Upper grades…

With each letter, you get a brief summarized statement, perfect for younger grades, as well as a detailed explanation that delves deeper into the letter’s topic. Perfect informational text for the upper grade ages! Also, the illustrations are stunning. See the example of one of the illustrations from this book to the left. Don’t let the simple cover fool you. The pictures are incredibly detailed.

 

Rince (Ring’-Ka): The Fairytale of Irish Dance: More suited to younger grades, this story aims to tell the origin of Irish Dancing. Interestingly, very little is know about where Irish dancing began. This fun story suggests an ancient dance battle between the fairy race and Irish people.

Too Many Fairies: A Celtic Tale: Another sweet story more suited for younger grades. This is a fun little story adapted from a Celtic Tale with lots of repetition, the opportunity for actions, and fun onomatopoeias. The story is essentially about an older Irish woman who despises housework, (anybody else just make a connection?) she complains, and to her surprise fairies arrive to “help”. If your studying folk-tales in younger grades, this is sure to be a delight!

The O’Brien Book of Irish Fairy Tales and LegendsA wonderful collection of Irish mythology, legends, and folk-tales. You will appreciate the pronunciation guide in the back and the beautiful illustrations. Read ancient tales of giants, the fairy race, and the wee folk!

Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and WalesAnother collection of folk-tales and legends! I especially love the modern take on the simple, yet detailed illustrations. I also appreciate that the collection of stories has been organized into categories: Tricksters, The Sea, Quests, and Romance. Justify the hardcover on this one, it’s absolutely beautiful. I may have saved the best for last, this book is as charming as it is beautiful!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you I will earn a small commission if you click through and purchase.

If you are looking for other activities or ideas for St. Patrick’s Day or to simply learn about or celebrate the Irish culture and history, make sure to check out this post!

Did I miss any of your favorites? Any books that I’m introducing for the first time?

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I love the idea that the best way we can remember September 11 and #neverforget is to remember the love, and unity that was felt September 12th, and to strive to live that way each day.
On September 12th we were one nation under God.
Indivisible.
Seeking justice for all.
Love this beautiful depiction by @paigepayne_creations see her thoughts on September 12th below.
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“ And on September 12th, we all came together. We were one. My family was living in Scotland when 9/11 happened. It was everywhere, all over the news. In school the day after, we had a long moment of silence in remembrance of those who were lost. We continued to have an annual moment of silence every year after that. It was incredible that even thousands and thousands of miles apart, we were mourning with those that mourned. We were one. At that time, we all displayed what we are capable of. Even in the face of incomprehensible tragedy, humans are capable of immense love. Capable of setting aside differences and coming together as one. As we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of lives the were lost that day, let us also strive to be more like how we were on September 12, 2001. Full of love, understanding, and compassion for each other. “

This painting is inspired by a beautiful photo taken by @masseya ❤️

#911 #911memorial #9eleven #911remembrance #thetwintowers #neverforget #neverforgotten #unity #love
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💡🚨PSA:🚨💡
ATTENTION ALL TEACHER FRIENDS
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Tag your #teachertribe and every #firstyearteacher below for this important reminder:
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As you set up your classroom for the new school year, and start divvying out materials… Do no forget to set aside 2-4 new student kits.
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Just like @adifferentiatedclass (shown in picture) I made sets using Gallon ziplocks.
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If you are in a developing community with new housing I recommend a minimum of 4 bags 🙀
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What to include:
🍋Name-tag/Desk-plate
🍋If you adhere the plates to the desk, have a segment of what you use in the pack.
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📣📣📣There will likely come a day when without warning you will be notified you have a new student, and the student will start THAT DAY. Save yourself and your poor new student the stress of frantically trying to get everything set up, by preparing NOW.
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Veteran teachers what else do you include in your new student kits?? Share in the comments below⬇️⬇️⬇️
📸: @adifferentiatedclass
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How satisfying/ beautiful 😻 is this #classroomorganization tip by @the_organized_classroom
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Use paint swatches as a visual to help students sort supplies! Keep this is mind as you set up your classroom for the school year!
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HELP ME BRAINSTORM:
What’s a brilliant #teacherhack you’ve tried or seen done with paint swatches??? Comment below 👇
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I’ll leave mine in the comments!
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There are a lot of new faces around here so I thought we should take the time to get to know each other!
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PLEASE comment below with what we have in common, or something we will never see eye to eye with 😜
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A few things to know about me😬
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🍋 My name is Tara, I’m the creator behind @teachingonlemonlane
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YOUR TURN: Tell me something about you in the comments!
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To my dear teacher friends still in school, I've got a FREE Father’s Day project I think you will love! Those of you are home with kiddos of your own, consider this fun activity for your Father’s Day Celebration! This is a great #endofyearproject that doubles as a #fathersdaygift 💛🍋💛
This product is available in both a printable and digital version that’s completely editable through Google. If you have a student or child interested in Digital Design, this is a fun way to introduce and experiment with different design tools. Because there are so many different types of situations and circumstances when it comes to a father the words father or dad are never actually used. Which makes this the perfect card to give to any figure that has taken on that important role. Whomever that is, they should be celebrated!
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Need #bulletinboardideas for March.... I’ve got you👊 like almost all of my Bulletin Board Kits, they center around student work and are made up of EASY TO CUT, Editable 🙊, ready to print and assemble slides!
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If you’ve followed me for long you know I love all things March and Irish ☘️ it’s in my blood 🙃
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My love of March shows in my resources, of all the months to have the most projects... March (of all the months???) is at the top of the list!
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I just added this CELTIC KNOT inspired Lucky Clover Craft and it turned out so fun! Use either the DIGITAL version and insert pictures into the leaves that represent why you’re lucky, or pick from one of the 18 different top layer options to create a beautiful clover like the one shown above! If you do go this route make sure to check out the EDITABLE bulletin board kit to really put these beauties on display!
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Do you love March? Why or why not? Drop a comment below 💛💛
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Selection Sunday and PI Day falling on the same day... Somebody pinch me. Two of my very favorites because of the projects you can start in your classroom 😍 Take for instance my March Math Madness PBL
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Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning 💛🏀💛
Students are separated into the 4 divisions then work together to put together a new starting 5 from players in their division. #dreamteam Each round their individual players are awards point values for how they played. At the end of each round students will calculate their team’s total points and decide which dream team comes out victorious! There are some really great opportunities to see Math in action. There’s opportunity for measurement conversion, converting fractions to decimals, ordering decimals, ratios, mean-median-mode, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals...etc. This is quickly becoming another tried and true favorite in the classroom!
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The most beautiful illustration by @paigepayne_creations Keep reading for some of the most powerful quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King’s powerful, “I have a Dream,” speech:
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“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”
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“I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
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“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
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“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
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“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.”
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“When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
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In a nutshell, you and your students will create a digital vision board that will act as a daily reminder when you set it as your computer, tablet, or smart phone’s new wallpaper or lock screen! I’ve created 26 EASY to use templates that create completely customizable and BEAUTIFUL designs, along with over 150 moveable “stickers” to make something truly eye catching (one of the requirements of an effective vision board) If that weren’t enough, I wanted to make sure you had the support materials to provide a really complete and educational project. So I’ve also included over 30 support activities, video tutorials, and extensions. Students will learns about vision boards, what makes them effective, the elements of a wellness, their circle of control, SMART goal setting.... and MORE! I know you are going to love this and so will your students. Even more, I know this has the potential to make a difference and lead to growth, and that is pretty satisfying. I’ve been working hard on this beauty and I NEED to get it in some classrooms!
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Each year our family gives a favorite Christmas book to some of our loved ones. (I wish I was able to get my hands on more of them!😭) With the passing of author Tomie dePaola, it seemed appropriate to give one of his. Reading this book, THIS year, made me cry. I struggled to make it through as it highlighted my weaknesses and put into words what I've been trying to set aside and not deal with. Last year I had great intentions of celebrating a more Christ centered Christmas, December arrived and again my intentions remained only that. Reading this story struck a cord in my soul. I'm old Befana. There may only be a few days left until Christmas, but I'm going to be intentional with them. On that note, I'll be taking a break from social and working to reground myself with the foundation that matters, and refocus my attention on Him. Love you all, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
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Head to my story for a swipe up of a reading of, ”The Legend of Old Befana, ” by the late Tomie dePaola
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