March Read Alouds and Related Seasonal Activities
By Mary Montero
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Read alouds are one of the best things about teaching elementary school! Between the start of Spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Holi, and International Women’s Day, March is a super fun month for connecting read alouds to current events. There are so many stories to choose from.
Read alouds give students the opportunity to explore different cultures, languages, and step into other people’s shoes. Plus, bringing in relevant March read aloud books keeps things fresh and engaging for students.
Favorite March Read Alouds
Each of the links below is an Amazon affiliate link for easy browsing, or you can view them all in this spring books list.
How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace — This book is such a fun March read aloud. Your students will crack up at the leprechaun’s antics! A great activity to do after reading this book is to have students write their own version of how they would catch a leprechaun. This is a great combination of how-to writing and creative writing. If you want to create a more hands-on experience, have students use materials from around the classroom to set up a leprechaun trap, and then write about how their trap will work. There are so many possibilities for ways to get creative after reading this book.
Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato: an Irish Folktake by Tomie DePaola — This story is an Irish Folktale about a very lazy potato farmer. He makes his wife do all of the work, until one day she hurts her back. He realizes if he doesn’t go out and harvest the potatoes, they’ll have nothing to eat all winter. He stumbles upon a leprechaun, who grants him his wish for the biggest potato in the world.
Your students will love this folktale, and it lends itself to a great classroom discussion! After reading, have students write about what they would do if they had the biggest potato in the world. This could also be a great book to read when talking about character traits, and why it is important to be hard-working. Another way to get creative with this text is to have students summarize the story and rewrite it as a reader’s theater.
Amma, Tell Me About Holi by Bhakti Mathur, illustrated by Maulshree Somani — This is a beautiful book about the Hindu holiday of Holi, or the festival of colors. If you do not have students that celebrate Holi in your class, it’s a great opportunity to teach your students about another culture. Holi celebrates many things, but primarily the arrival of spring! This would be a perfect book to read during morning meeting. The book is told from the perspective of a child asking their mother to explain the holiday.
To utilize this text in morning meeting, have students greet each other by wishing each other a “Happy spring!” or trying their hand at celebrating colors by greeting each other based on the color of their shirt or shoes. For the share portion of morning meeting, students could share about a favorite holiday that their family celebrates, or how they would describe a favorite holiday to someone who had never experienced it.
One Holi tradition is for elephants to be painted beautifully with bright colors and paraded during the festivities. For the activity portion of morning meeting, students could work with their table groups to decorate an elephant printed onto cardstock and then share their creation with the rest of the class. I think it’s always fun to learn about different holidays. Plus, celebrating another culture increases empathy and awareness for students.
Shakti Girls by Shetal Shah, illustrated by Kavita Rajput — This absolutely beautiful book contains thirteen poems about inspirational Indian women and is ideal for Women’s History Month and all the way into April to celebrate Poetry Month. After reading, have students select one of the featured women and complete a short research project on the impact they have had.
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoet — Malala Yousafzai is an incredibly important activist and person to learn about. Students will love reading about her life, and this book addresses the terrifying parts of her journey in a way that is age appropriate. Because it is written by Malala herself, this would be a great text to use when discussing primary sources or autobiographies.
After reading the book, you could watch interviews Malala has participated in and have a class discussion about her bravery and impact. Celebrating Malala Yousafzai’s courage is a fantastic way to honor International Women’s Day.
The Iditarod also happens every March. You can read a variety of books, track the mushers, research dogs, and more. We display a large map outside our classroom so other classrooms can follow along too. Here are a few Iditarod favorites:
- Togo by Robert Blake
- Storm Run: The Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race by Libby Riddles
- Woodsong by Gary Paulsen
- Kiana’s Iditarod by Shelley Gill
- Born to Pull by Bob Cary
- Dogteam by Gary Paulsen
- Iditarod Dream by Ted Wood
More Books for March Read Alouds
- There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover by Lucille Colandro, illustrated by Jared Lee
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
- That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully
- Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss, illustrated by Cinyee Chiu
- Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
Seasonal March Resources
Aside from seasonal March read alouds, I also use these other seasonal activities in March.
Candy Math has students practice common math skills using Skittles – yum! This resource is perfect for grade 3-6 and focuses on essential math skills like place value, arrays, measurement, decimals, and more. It’s a great resource to use during centers or test prep and can even be used as an assessment. Aside from grabbing some Skittles, this activity is no-prep. Either upload to your LMS or print, and you are ready to go.
Spring Math Picture Activity
I have several math picture activities that are always a hit with students! This one has a garden theme.
St. Patrick’s Day Math
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate with a St. Patricks Day Math Project. Throughout this themed math project, students will use addition and subtraction practice to explore Ireland. Students have to travel on a budget and use elapsed time to plan their travel. Whenever I do this project with my students, they are so engaged and have a great time. Plus, you can even incorporate a mini room transformation.
Are your little leprechauns busily practicing their area and perimeter skills? This St. Patrick’s Day area and perimeter mini project is perfect for them! My students have adored building their St. Patrick’s Day Perimeter and Area Parades, and I hope yours do, too!
St. Patrick’s Day Writing
Get students’ creativity flowing by having them write about an imaginary “luckiest day ever”. If they found a four-leaf clover – and suddenly had their luckiest day ever – what would happen?
Maybe they’d bump into Lebron James and he would invite them over for dinner! Maybe they’d win every single Fortnite round they played. Have students create a story of all the lucky things that would happen to them that day, and then have a few students share with the class.
St. Patrick’s Day Task Cards
Continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some fun St. Patrick’s Day Fluency Task Cards. These task cards have a variety of sentence types about Ireland to help students practice their oral reading fluency. They’re a great tool to use during small groups, or even to have students use as they read with a partner.
Or use the holiday to practice math with these themed math task cards that cover every single 4th grade math standard! These come in print and digital versions, which makes putting together reviews super simple. Use them for morning work, early finishers, or a review station. You can even display a slide and complete it as a whole group spiral review.
Spring Math Estimation
Host a fun class challenge with a spring estimation jar. Place several spring related objects into a jar and have students estimate how many are inside. Some great options to include are jelly beans, plastic Easter eggs, flowers, or gummy bears. Give a special prize or treat to the student who wins!
Spring Fluency Task Cards
If you loved the St. Patrick’s Day fluency cards, continue your fluency practice with these Spring Fluency Task Cards. There are 32 task cards total, each with a short passage to keep students from getting worn down. The task cards work great for independent reading centers or as a quick reading warm up. If you need an easy grab-and-go option for a parent or guardian volunteer, have students practice reading these cards to them.
Spring Riddle Inferencing Task Cards
I don’t know about you, but I always associate St. Patrick’s Day with limericks and riddles. Why not bring together inference and riddles with these Inferencing Task Cards! This is a creative way to engage your students in practicing a critical skill, all while requiring little-to-no prep on your part. There are 32 cards in total, each with their own short inference riddle and a question.
Host a Book Tasting
Remember all those March read alouds we talked about? Display these books and give students a chance to explore them with a book tasting. I wrote a blog post about how to implement book tastings in your classroom, but I’ll share a quick recap here. Give students time to look over the books and rate their impressions. They should select a few that seem really interesting and dig further. Then have students select their top book. You can even give them time to independently read in class.
I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the beginning of Spring with your students! If you’re still looking for some spring classroom ideas, check out this blog post with some ideas and tips for teaching during Spring in upper elementary.
I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.