Gaelic-Garlic Pesto Shamrock Bread—with “Earn Some Green” Figurative Language

PicMonkey Collage st patty

Valentine’s Day is a thing of the past, so I’m turning to the next big holiday theme  for this week’s post…It will give you plenty of time to take a look at my newest TpT packet, whip up this snack and browse the itunes store for the free St. Patty’s Day app.

This snack is quick and delicious—and GREEN for St. Patty’s Day!  It’s fun and easy so little hands can help prepare it and then put the pieces together like a puzzle to form a shamrock!  I love making homemade pesto and fresh basil is available all year long in your local grocery store.   Try substituting other greens like kale or spinach in place of the basil,  (to sneak more veggies into your kiddos diets).  And instead of pine nuts (which can get very pricey), go for walnuts, which have a high nutritional value and are way cheaper! Arrange your pesto bread slices into a shamrock formation and add a celery stick for a stem and you too will be Irish for a day!!  For today’s speechsnack, I’ve created a figurative language packet, available in my TpT store.     And lastly, scroll down to the end of this post to checkout a FREE app available in the Apple itunes store that can be used to address speech and language goals.   Enjoy the recipe, language packet and free app, and may the luck of the Irish be with you on St. Patty’s Day and all year long!



Help your students identify and define figurative language concepts with this fun St. Patty’s themed packet.  Find it in my TpT store here!!


Packet includes “leprechaun loot” which students earn when they have responded to one of the figurative language cards (idioms, similes or metaphors.)

Some cards have a small horseshoe in the right hand corner which indicates good luck—they should draw another money card.  If they draw one with a leprechaun in the corner, they must give up their highest dollar amount and return it to the bottom of the pile!  Everyone should count up their money at the end of the game. The person with the most Leprechaun loot is the winner!



To play Idiom matching game: put idiom coins in a pile. Spread out pots of gold (either sentence fill-in’s or definitions.)  Have student draw a coin and match it to the correct pot of gold.


To play “Emerald Isle” similes: Place cards in a pile.  Student draws a card and must determine what the simile means as well as tell you which two words in the simile are being compared to each other.  As a follow-up activity, use the Simile Starters worksheet to have students create their own original similes based on the words provided.


As a follow-up activity, use the Simile Starters or Make Your Own Metaphors worksheet to have students create their own original similes/metaphors based on the words provided.



To play “Lucky horseshoe” metaphors: Place cards in a pile.  Student draws a card and must identify the metaphor and determine what it means.   As a follow up activity, use the Make your own Metaphors worksheet to have the students create their own original metaphors based on the words provided.

Gaelic-Garlic Pesto Shamrock Bread

You will need: 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed , 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil,1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts,3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced,Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, one half of a freshly squeezed lemon

 The kiddos can peel the garlic, tear up the basil, squeeze the lemon and throw the ingredients into the food processor, but let an adult operate the machinery!!  (Not a job for little hands!)


Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.   Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.  Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.  Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.  Squeeze in the juice of one half of a lemon.. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Pulse to finish mixing ingredients.
















Discuss the consistency of the ingredients after they have been blended together—ask the kids to describe the appearance of the final product.

Serve with pasta, spread on chicken before baking in the oven, add to a baked potato, or spread on crusty Italian bread and toast in oven.










To make Gaelic-Garlic Pesto bread, cut thick slices of whole wheat garlic bread on an angle. Spread pesto over the top of each slice. Toast in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place three slices in a shamrock formation. Add a long stick of celery for a stem.














Let the kids have fun spreading the pesto on bread slices. Dig out the silicone baking brush and let them dip it in the mixture and “paint” on the pesto!









Once the bread comes out of the oven, (be careful to remove the slices from the hot tray first parents)  the kids can assemble this by arranging  toasted  bread slices and celery to form a shamrock.   


Ask your kids to recall all the ingredients used.  Have them sequence the steps in the process.  Can they come up with 10 words that start with the /sh/ sound??   How about a list of all things green?? 


Here’s a fun Irish app that is great for addressing  several speech and language goals—Learning Gems—St. Patricks Day    The picture has beautiful colors and details, it’s interactive, and best of all it’s FREE!!  After your target sound or language skill is addressed, tap on different objects in the picture and the leprechaun says funny things.  The picture comes to life with flying butterflies, gold and horseshoes as well as a magically appearing rainbow.   

1–If you are working on the /l/ sound, the multisyllabic word “LEPRECHAUN”  is quite the challenge!  Practice at the syllable level by targeting /lep/ or as a multisyllabic word, clap out each syllable separately and then blend the word together.

2- For carryover kiddos, use the word leprechaun in sentences describing something about himThe leprechaun has a red beard.  The leprechaun is sitting on a mushroom

3-To address language skills for increasing sentence length and using descriptive words, have your students create sentences describing the leprechaun, the background scene, and giving explanations about what happens when various parts of the picture are tapped. 

Do you have any other suggestions for using this app????  Feel free to comment below!

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