Author: TC Bear

STEM Leprechaun Trap Activity

Looking for a fun but educational activity to do with your students for St. Patrick’s Day?  We’ve put together a STEM focused lesson where students will figure out how to catch their own leprechaun!

Leprechauns are smart and very tricky, too.  Do your students want to catch one?  If so, they will need to make a very special trap – one that has a simple machine or two as part of the construction.  Students will also have to think of something to get the leprechaun’s attention.  What would make him come out of hiding so they can catch him in their traps?

The STEM: Catching a Leprechaun Handout will start by walking students through examples of common machines they see around them every day.  Next they will get to know leprechauns by learning facts like… They make shoes for themselves and for fairies.  Next, students will need to decide which machine(s) they are planning to use in their trap, and for extra fun, allow your students to get crafty and decorate their traps.  After all, they need to attract their leprechaun!

The activity will then ask a series of questions for the technology and engineering aspects where students will have to discuss their processes.  And finally, will do a bit of math!

Feel free to add on to this activity or possibly celebrate the capture of your leprechauns with a St. Patrick’s Day Party!



Related St. Patrick’s Day Products 

TCR5281 Shamrocks Accents

TCR6526 St. Patrick’s Day Wristbands

TCR4224 For All Seasons Sticker Book

Quick Tip: Colorful Bulletin Board Titles

QUICK TIP! When creating a title for a bulletin board (like our science one below), we know many of you want to make sure you don’t end up with two of the same color in a row. Luckily, it is pretty easy to avoid!

Instead of punching out just one ‘A’, punch out all of the color options available in the pack. Stack on top of each other so you are able to see what you have to work with.

Some letters like the teal ‘Y’ will be a given, (since it is the only ‘Y’ in this pack) so start there. Slowly take away the colors that CAN’T be used… You would not put a teal ‘D’ next to the ‘Y’, or a pink ‘O’ next to the ‘B’. Set aside the leftover letters to use in another spot in the classroom.


With a little playing around, you will get the right (color-balanced) look!

Here we were working with the Chalkboard Brights 3″ Magnetic Bold Block Letters:

Olympics in the Classroom: 5 Word Problems

Olympics In the ClassroomGet your students excited about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. Kick off an Olympic themed lesson with a fun math activity. Read each word problem to your student, and have them write the answer on a dry erase board. Reward students with Olympic Medal Wear ‘Em Badges.

Olympic Word Problems:

    1. Jackie Joyner-Kersee is a great Olympic athlete who has won many medals. Over the years, she has won three gold medals, one silver medal, and two bronze medals. How many medals has Jackie won in all?
    2. The city of Los Angeles, California, has hosted the Olympic Games twice. The first time was in 1932. The second time was in 1984. How many years passed between those two Olympic Games?
    3. In 1992, the U.S. men’s basketball team was nicknamed “The Dream Team.” Everybody on the team was a great player. None of the teams they faced in the Olympic Games came close to beating them. In the finals, “The Dream Team” beat the team from Croatia by a score of 117–85. By how many points did “The Dream Team” beat Croatia in that game?
    4. There were many exciting track-and-field events that took place during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In 24 of the events, men competed against each other. In the other 23 events, women competed against each other. How many total (men’s and women’s) track-and-field events was there in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?
    5. During the time of the 1996 Olympic Games, Michael Johnson might have been the fastest human on the planet. He broke the world record when he ran the 200-meter race in 19.32 seconds. Whose record did he break? He broke his own record! His fastest time had been 19.66 seconds. By how many seconds did he break his old record?

Do you want more Olympic activities? Try these:

10 Fun Facts about the Olympic Games & Free Lesson

The Olympics in Your Classroom

7 Great Ways to Use Pawn Game Pieces

Pawn Manipulatives Teacher Created Resources

Pawn Game Pieces are versatile and make learning fun! You can use manipulative pawn pieces in and out of the classroom. It perfect for fun summertime learning! Prevent summer slide and use Pawn Game Pieces for the math activities below:

Have children count out each number to be added and then combine the amounts. They can use two different-colored pawn pieces to represent the two numbers.

Have children use the pawn pieces to practice the concept of subtraction. They can do the problems on paper first and then use the pawn pieces to check their Arithmetic.

Multiplication and Division
If multiplying, children should pre-group their pawn pieces. For example, if they are working on multiplying by 3, have them make several groups of 3 pawn pieces each. If dividing, they should separate the number into groups the size of the number being divided. For example, if dividing 12 by 4, they should separate the 12 into groups of four.

Place Value
Children can group pawn pieces into piles of ten. Then they can practice using numbers both in the ones place and the tens place. When they are ready, they can stop grouping them and just use one pawn piece in a different color to represent ten.

Put some pawn pieces of different colors in a group. Have students record how many pawn pieces were used total and how many are of each color. Explain that the total number of pawn pieces makes the denominator while the pawn pieces of one color make the numerator. Have them practice writing the numbers in fraction form.

Ask children: “If you put 10 red pawn pieces, 5 purple pawn pieces, 3 green pawn pieces, 2 blue pawn pieces and 1 yellow pawn piece in a jar and then pull one out without looking, what is the probability you will pull out the yellow pawn piece?” Have them explain their answers and then try it out. You can have them record their results. You can also ask them to write their results in fraction form. When they are done, see if their results matched their predictions, or if they came close. They can go through this process more than once.

Negative Numbers
You can use a pawn piece of one color to represent positive numbers and another color to represent negative numbers. Students can add negative pawn pieces to positive ones, grouping each negative with a positive to avoid confusion.

For example, if you have the problem

4 + -3, count out 4 pawn pieces of one color to make positive 4. Then count out three pawn pieces of another color and place each one next to the other pawn piece, showing that a negative number cancels out a positive number. You can also move them off to the side. There will be one positive pawn piece remaining.

You can use all different manipulative and counters. For more fun math learning activities, see math manipulative games.