March 2021 - Miss Clark's Spoonful

My Grammy's Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patty's Day!

This is a day that makes me think about my grandmother, an absolute angel of an Irish matriarch. She was the most joyful person I will ever know, and always saw the goodness and light in every single situation. She loved St. Patrick's Day, and everything Irish.

In her 100 years on this earth, she touched so many with her grace, light, laughter, and love.

While she's no longer with us, this is a recipe that has been in our family for ages. My grandmother had it passed down to from her mother, and then she passed it down to my mother, who passed it down to my sister and I. It's a family favorite and is filled with love.

Let's get started!


  • 4 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 3 heaping teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Raisins (rinsed)
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Caraway Seeds
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Sour Milk (1 cup Milk + 1 TBSP White Vinegar or Lemon Juice)


Preheat oven to 400º F.

1. Sour milk by combining 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1 cup. Stir and let stand for at least five minutes.

Ingredients to sour milk

2. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. Add raisins, sugar, and caraway seeds. Set aside.

Irish Soda Bread Dry Ingredients

4. Mix eggs, sour cream, and sour milk. Beat well.

Irish Soda Bread Wet Ingredients

5. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, and fold together.

Irish Soda Bread Dough

6. Place baking dish in the oven to warm. Take out, grease, and add dough.

Irish Soda Bread Dough

7. Bake at 400º for 20 minutes. Then, decrease temperature to 350º and bake for 40 minutes. Bake until it's juuuuust the right shade of golden brown (you'll know!).

To test if it's truly done, insert a small knife into the center right to the base. If it comes out clean, you're good to go!

What a beaut!

 Irish Soda Bread

Get your Irish on.

May the luck of the Irish be with you all year long!


Favorite March Read Alouds for the Primary Classroom

Between Women's History Month and all things leprechaun-y, March is a time for celebration!

Here are some of my favorite read alouds to enjoy all month long, and some ways I incorporate them into different lessons.

Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan
An inspiring story to kick off March madness (I should mention that my love for this story and my next-to-nothing knowledge of sports is completely unrelated)! In second grade, we spend March diving into a comprehensive biographies unit. We always begin by exploring the difference between informational biographies and narrative biographies.

This is a perfect example of a narrative biography. As a little boy, Michael wants to to his best playing basketball, and dreams of growing taller. With the love and support from his parents, Michael learns that having heart and determination lead to amazing things.

The Luckiest Leprechaun by Justine H. Korman
I found this absolute gem at a thrift store for .25 cents (don't you love when that happens??). It is now one of my very favorite March stories to share with my students. 

MacKenzie O'Shamrock is the main character of this story. He's a snarky, uptight leprechaun who cares about protecting his precious gold from treasure hunters. When a playful, lovable pup named Lucky crashes through his roof one day, everything changes! Lucky won't leave MacKenzie's side. Throughout the story, MacKenzie's feelings change, and he realizes that friendship is worth much more than gold. 

Super heartwarming!

She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
Hooray for strong women! This book features an exceptionally curated list of 13 women throughout history who have spoken out for what is right: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, and the author herself.

Combined with the beautiful illustrations, this is a wonderful way for readers of all ages to learn the power of persistence.

How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
This one is just plain FUN. I love the idea of bringing in a little bit of St. Patrick's Day mischief with a story full of rhymes and fabulous illustrations.

Along with a lot of great opportunities for connecting reading with how-to writing, this story serves as an amazing mentor text for a STEAM connection. Students can have fun building their own leprechaun traps!

Superheroes are Everywhere by Kamala Harris
This is another fabulous biography mentor text, and aligns so nicely with Women's History Month. During our biography unit, I like to take a lesson or two to examine the timeline of a subject's life. This story takes us back to Vice President Harris's childhood, and how she was inspired by all of the unsung heroes around her. 

It's empowering, joyful, and inspires readers everywhere to make the world a better place. Did I mention that there's even a kid's guide to being a superhero at the end? A. mazing.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola

One of my most fond memories from my very first year of teaching is doing an author study on Tomie dePaola. I loved learning about his collection of books, and they have a special place in my heart!

Folktales are a great way to introduce students to different cultures and traditions. In this tale, we travel to Ireland! The main character, Jamie O'Rourke, is the laziest man in all of Ireland. His wife, Eileen, does all of the work. One day, she hurts her back and cannot do the gardening. Jamie is worried that they will not have enough food for the winter. 

In a magical encounter with a leprechaun, Jamie is tricked into wishing for the biggest potato ever (instead of taking the leprechaun's gold). The seed grows into a huge potato that rolls away and blocks the road! The villagers end up taking pieces of potato home to eat all winter. When spring finally comes, everyone is tired of eating potatoes. The villagers make sure that Jamie has enough food so he will never plant another potato seed. 

Along with story elements, this is a great mentor text to discuss character traits, and the importance of hard work & honesty.


You can encourage your readers to enjoy books all month long with this FREE March Reading Log.

Did I miss any of your March favorites? I'd love to hear about the books you enjoy reading in your classroom this month.

Happy reading!