I'm a Little Shamrock
(chant verse or sing to the tune: I'm a little teapot)
I'm a little shamrock
I bring good luck
I'm not a weed!
Wear me on your hat
Or your lapel,
Just a three-leaf clover
To bless you well!
An ostinato is a stubborn rhythm that repeats over and over.
The two groups can call back and forth.
Proud Shamrocks say: I am! I am!
Teasing Leprechauns say: You’re not! You’re not!
Keep it Simple: The tune is great for ages 3-8.
Add some fun: From about ages 4-1/2 you can add the ostinati in for fun.
Make this a drama game: The addition of the role play is probably best reserved for ages 6-8 because of the role play topic, which is teasing.
If you use the role play with ages 9 and up…I wouldn’t use the little tune! Just do the role play and bring in some Irish history.
About Role Play
I recommend role play for older children ages 6 and up.
They are ready to start discussing how their actions affect others and if you really get into the drama of this (which is not necessary if you just want to do a quick rhythmic fun thing!) then you’ll need some time to chat with the children as you move through the role play.
Divide the class into 2 groups, shamrocks and leprechauns. Each group has an opportunity to be the shamrock group and then the leprechaun group.
Now set the scene to celebrate St.Patrick's Day...
It’s St.Patrick’s Day and the shamrocks are proud of their history.
They even have a song and they like to sing it. They are strutting around, sitting tall, happy to be shamrocks.
The Leprechauns are mischievous and like to tease the shamrocks. They hear the special song and spend St. Patrick’s Day teasing the shamrocks that they are just weeds and they are not special (you’re not!). The shamrocks hear the teasing and respond with (“I am”).
The leprechauns and shamrocks can mingle and walk about among each other, dramatizing the teasing interaction.
Use facial expressions, body language and dynamic levels.
Start very quietly and become louder.
Accelerate the tempo for fun.
Role Play Considerations
In old Ireland teasing was common (according to my Irish-born husband) and it’s really a sign that you’re part of the group, family, friendship circle if you are teased. Having met some of his relatives and heard family stories, I think teasing may still common in Ireland:).
Where we live in Canada, teasing is not heavily practiced. In fact, I would say teasing is probably frowned on, particularly if it’s obvious it’s hurting someone’s feelings.
I have fun with kids, asking them to use their eyes to communicate what a tease is. We can practise responding with a teasing voice and smiling eyes back. We can practise reading the shamrock faces…are they having fun too? Are the shamrocks having hurt feelings?
When you reverse roles, that’s where the discussion comes in.
If you tease someone, your eyes are smiling. It’s not usually intended to be a hurtful thing. I do work with some extremely sensitive children, who even at older ages of 7, 8 or 9 do not like to even “play tease”.
I don’t insist that they “play” in this case. Usually they like to watch the others play and can be the audience. It’s much more satisfying for them. Sometimes they see things happening that the others have not.
I’ve taken on the role of St. Patrick and play scolded the leprechauns for teasing too much if necessary.
Ages 9 and older
If you are dramatizing with ages 9 and older they enjoy learning the history of St. Patrick and how he used the three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity in Christianity to the pagans. St. Patrick preached to the people to imagine the leaves representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The long stem represented the single Godhead. The pagans had many gods and this was a visual that helped to explain that in Christianity there was only one God.