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Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

Even though I'm not Irish, I like to claim I am, along with everyone else in the U.S., on St. Patrick's Day. My go-to book for celebrating St. Patrick's Day with my students was Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola. This book can only be read with an Irish accent, so practice that before attempting a read aloud!

After you read about lazy Jamie and his potato problem, you can make your own candy potatoes. Irish potato candy is a thing that some people make around the holidays actually using mashed potatoes, which I know sounds so weird, but you use enough powdered sugar to cover up any potato taste. This particular recipe does not use potatoes, but you can make cute little potato shapes. I added a bit more powdered sugar than this original recipe calls for to make sure the mixture was able to be rolled easily. You can also roll them in cocoa powder for a different flavor. Once you refrigerate them, they really do look like little brown potatoes. Instead of making little ones though, you could make one giant potato that everyone could eat off of like Jamie and the villagers from the story

And if you want to turn this activity into a writing prompt, have your students think about what food they would like to eat every day for the winter like Jamie had to. Use my writing activity worksheet from Teachers Pay Teachers to get the potato rolling! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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