Smiling leprechaun

Lucky leprechaun lessons

Practice reading, writing, vocabulary and tech skills with a mischievous leprechaun!

March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day with Irish-related traditions of emerald green shamrocks, a lucky pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, dancing, and leprechauns. Let’s dive a little deeper into the tales about leprechauns . . . and how you might be able to find a lucky pot of gold!

Leprechaun tales

Leprechauns are known to be mischievous little spirit creatures, although not malicious. They have a reputation as pranksters but never inflect lasting damage on humans with their pranks. It is commonly believed that the leprechaun is a son of an ‘evil spirit’ and a ‘degenerative fairy’ and are ‘not wholly good nor wholly evil”. They are native only to Ireland.

Physical appearance

The leprechaun has green-colored skin and usually reach a height of around 6-inches. Leprechauns are old men with red hair and beards. They normally wear green-colored clothing, which is often made from leaves. These tiny men like to dress formally wearing vest, jacket and top hat with a large gold buckle. They tend to wear curled, elf-like shoes with gold buckles. Although they look very humanoid, it is unlikely that they are related to humans or any other human-related beings, such as goblins.

Habitat and traits

Leprechauns live in forests and wooded areas, and they enjoy attracting Muggle attention to themselves and playing pranks on them. This tendency has led to them being heavily integrated into Muggle children’s stories and legends. A leprechaun will hide his gold coins in a black pot hidden at the end of a rainbow.

Their diet consists mostly of plants, especially 4-leaf clovers, although they do enjoy sweets! The leprechauns claim that 4-leaf clovers make them lucky! Leprechauns are also attracted to shiny, glittery objects and will leap and dance when they find these shiny objects.

Leprechauns are traditionally shoemakers and are obsessed with cobbling and shining shoes. Some believe it is their fondness for dancing that drives and the obsession with new shining shoes that drives leprechauns to be shoemakers. It is a fact that leprechauns earn their their gold by fixing shoes for fairies.

Leprechaun rules

If caught by a mere mortal, so the legend goes, a leprechaun may offer to tell where his gold is hidden in return for his freedom. The leprechaun must tell the truth, for this is bound by fairy law. But only so long as you look the leprechaun in the eye. Few humans know that if caught and asked, the leprechaun can grant three wishes.

Most leprechauns are discovered by a human who hikes quietly in the Irish mountains. Listen carefully for the tapping sound, as it could be a leprechaun busy making shoes!

Leprechaun story activity

The story above can be used in a variety of ways, depending on what your student goals are. Some lesson ideas are:


Leprechaun vocabulary activity

How well do you speak “Irish”? Here are Irish words that leprechauns love to say. Do you know what these words mean? Match the word with its definition.

A thick stick used as a club or walking stick

A female spirit that warns of death

A deep green color

A small elf or sprite

An argument or wild fight


A clover plant with three leaves on a stem

Girl or young woman

Charming talk

Irish name for Ireland


Leprechaun writing activity

In this fun leprechaun writing prompt, students pretend to find an Irish leprechaun stuck under their bed. The leprechaun offers three wishes if they will help him get out. Students write what they would wish for and why the wishes are important. This writing activity is geared for 1st and 2nd grade students; but can be fun or made more challenging for older students too!


By Diane Brauner

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