I Caught a Leprechaun – New Fun Song!
I’ve made a podcast episode about this blog post. Check it out on iTunes or wherever you download podcasts! You can also listen to the podcast on the web through this link.
Every year I tell my K-1 students about the Leprechaun that keeps showing up in my room. I tell them (for about a week or two before St. Pat’s day) that they need to watch our for leprechauns because those sneaky little guys love to come out this time of year. One of the kindergarten teachers also has a little leprechaun game she does with students so we coordinate our stories “Did Mrs. Miller tell you about that Leprechaun she almost caught the other day?” They eat it up. They really love it when you tell them that if they catch a leprechaun that you get to keep his gold. Hilarious and wonderful little game.
Well, this year a song developed out of it and I wanted to share. I took the decorations that I’ve collected over the years and put them in a corner of my room. I told all the K-1 kids when they came in that I had CAUGHT a leprechaun and I’ve magically frozen him in a little cage. I told them this story: “Today I came into my room in the morning and there were instruments everywhere! This tricky little leprechaun was throwing instruments all around my room and was starting to bag up some instruments to take them away. He already had my golden cymbal in his bag and my golden gong, and all the silver bars off my metallophones and glockenspiels and he was about to go for THESE when I snatched him and put him in this little cage”
Then I show them the finger cymbals that I pulled off the shelf.
“Why do you think he was so excited about these?” “Because they look like money!” “You’re right! They look so much like gold coins that he thought they really were gold and he was so busy putting them in his bag that he didn’t notice me sneaking up behind him. I grabbed him and he squealed (This is when I yell “NOOOOOOO” in my best Irish accent… and let me mention that my Irish accent is HORRIBLE!) and I rushed over and put him in this cage/frame. He said “You can’t lock me up! Do you know who I am” and I said, “I don’t care who you are! You were trying to steal the instruments that belong to all of my students!” “You must let me go! I’m Seamus Cedric Daniel Patrick O’Blarneystone! I’m king of the Leprechauns in this city and you can’t lock me up!” “Oh yeah? Well, I’m going to keep you locked up until you give me your gold”
And then we laugh about that I say his name a few more times in my best/worst Irish accent. Then I tell the students that I even wrote a little song to sing AT him to make him mad (which is okay since he was trying to steal my finger cymbals) It’s a song to make fun of his really long and hard-to-say name! He gets really angry when you call him by something other than his name. Then we learn the song.
I Caught A Leprechaun – The Song
First I sing it for them and they laugh and love it (double points for the person who knows where I stole the melody!). After each time I sing the song I have SCDP O’Blarneystone squeal and yell in his/my Irish accent “That’s not me name! Me name is Seamus Cedric Daniel Patrick O’Blarneystone! Call me by ME NAME!!” And the first few times I come up with names to call him. “Now I call him Brenda!” “Now I call him Carlos!” “Now I call him Edna!” and they laugh and laugh at that. After a few times through I ask them to do the actions with me.
My actions are:
- “I caught a…” is a pinch like you’re picking up a cat with the scruff of its neck.
- “He was very sneaky” is Mr. Burns fingers or twinkling fingers
- “I caught a… “ is the same
- “Now I call him…” and we point at him when we call him his new name.
So they learn the actions and eventually start to sing along. Then I let students pick out the names that we can call him. They can use their name, or a friend’s name, or a parent’s name, but it has to be a name. Can’t call him “shoelaces” or anything like that. Fun little thought, you might not want to include “Patrick” in his name (Seamus Cedric Daniel Patrick O’Blarneystone) because you’ll get lots of responses like “Spongebob!” They hear Patrick and that’s all they can think of.When we’re finally ready I bring out the finger cymbals that SCDP O’Blarneystone was apparently trying to steal. I mention that if we use the cymbals that he was going to steal it might even make him more angry! So I do it a few times and add a “ding ding” on the last two syllables of each Lep-re-chaun. The kids love that and then I give some of the student’s the cymbals. Each kids gets to try once or twice and I keep asking for name ideas from kids. They love being able to give ideas for names, play the cymbals, and infuriate the leprechaun! I don’t have enough cymbals for every kid so the kids who aren’t playing will snap fingers instead. It’s a similar action and gets them all involved. Then we rotate the finger cymbals around so that everyone gets a chance.
This can go on for as long as you want it to! I’ve toyed around with the idea of taking 3 minutes at the end of the previous class (a third grade class) and having them help me scatter instruments around the room as if the leprechaun had thrown them all around and I hadn’t been able to pick them all up. A fun idea, but that might be more work than I want.