Shamrock is the English form of the Irish word seamrog which, literally translated, means "little clover." Clover is one of the major crops grown in Oklahoma as hay, and hay was Oklahoma's fourth most valuable commodity in 2017. Clover is extremely delicious and fattening to cattle. This fact is where we get the idiomatic phrase "in clover," meaning a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity. Clover also grows, often unwanted, in most lawns in Oklahoma. Clover is a legume, which means it is good for the soil. Legumes capture nitrogen. Clover is one of the first plants to start greening up in the spring.
Find a nice field of clover, and take your students outdoors to look for four-leaf clovers.
- Students measure the area they are searching and determine the probability of finding four-leaf clovers, based on the area covered and the number of four leaf clovers they find.
- Students make graphs showing the different kinds of plants found in the area.
- Students use magnifying glasses to examine the clover and other plant material in the area.
- Students compare clover with dandelions and other plants in the area. List differences and similarities on a Venn diagram.
- Students use clover to construct multiplication facts. (Four clovers with three leaves each has how many leaves?)
- Students use clover to demonstrate thirds.
- Students make clover jewelry by gently tying one clover flower to the next until they have strings long enough for a necklace or bracelet.
- Make clover bookmarks: Put a clover leaf between two sheets of white paper, and press between the pages of a heavy book. In a few days, when the clover has dried, take it from between the pages of paper. Cut a strip from colored construction paper, and carefully glue your clover to the top end. Laminate your bookmark to make it last longer!
- Gather a mess of clover to use as a natural dye. Students guess what color the dye will make. Fill a large pot with clover, and cover with cold water. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover the pan, and steep the mixture for 30 minutes. Use a strainer to remove the greens. Provide each student with a square of unbleached muslin. Place the muslin in the pot and leave it overnight. Next day remove the squares and hang them to dry.
- Grow clover sprouts. Get seeds at a health food store.
- Describe the smell of cut grass.
- Describe a day in the life of a field of clover.
What nationwide youth organization has a four-leaf clover as its symbol?
Learn about the origins of 4-H and its importance to agricultural research with this online AITC lesson: