Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

I'm so excited for St.Patrick's Day!  Every year, I read Tomie dePaola's Irish folktale Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato.  It's been a tradition in my classroom for 10 years!  I love the character Jamie and I love all of the dialogue.  I read the book in my best Irish accent because I think the dialogue just begs for it!  Fun side note, I lived in Scotland for 6 months and spent St.Patrick's Day on the Isle of Skye. Sadly, this was before the days of digital cameras so I have no pictures to share :-(

Since this is my favorite St. Patrick's Day book, I created a bunch of fun activities aligned to Common Core Standards for Grades 3 to 5 to go along with it!

In our classroom this year, I'll spend two days reading Jamie O'Rourke.  Even though the story isn't terribly difficult to understand, I want to provide lots of time for my students to discuss how Jamie responds to the challenges he faces.

I made this graphic organizer for students to write how Jamie responds to challenges and then also write what they think about Jamie's choice.  For example, when Eileen wrenches her back and cannot tend to the garden, Jamie heads to the church to prepare for his death.  I can't wait to hear my kids' thoughts about that!  I'm sure they will have some judgments about Jamie!

 On the second day, we will spend time discussing the illustrations and how they deepen our understanding of the text.

We spent some time a few weeks ago analyzing the images from Dr.Seuss' The Lorax, so I'm looking for some deeper observations about the images and what they tell us about the characters and perhaps a hidden message from the author.  This is a common core standard my kiddos had some difficulty with when we took our practice ELA, so it's important that I keep hitting on this standard (RL5.7).  I made some discussion cards and a response sheet for my students to focus their thinking on images.

The actual product contains much more than I've outlined right here.  Check out the TpT listing for all of the details!  But please know, these activities are based on the book.  They aren't generic prompts that could work with any text.  The questions are all text dependent and aligned to Common Core Standards.

I love this little collection of activities so much that I'm going to giveaway two copies to the first two people who leave me a comment {please include your email address!}! 
Tell me, what do you have planned for your class to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?


  1. I have this wishlisted! I am reading Jamie O'Rourke this week, too, and doing Cause and Effect with it. I'm also using my Talking to a Leprechaun game (TPT!) for speaking and listening practice before the ACCESS test which we start on the 18th. I *might* even bring in some sort of snack on Friday as a pre-test/St. Patrick's day treat.

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. I would love to have a copy of this!