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Leprechaun Trap!

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Assigned February 25, 2013

Be the first kid on your block to catch a real live leprechaun!

Make a Leprechaun Trap!
You are going to design and build a leprechaun trap. It should not be too much larger than a shoe box and have at least two of the following simple machines: pulley, lever, wedge, wheel and axle, inclined plane, or screw. Keep in mind how you will attract the leprechaun to your trap as well as how you will trap him in there once you do attract him.

1. Gather together all kinds of scrap material to make the perfect leprechaun trap.

Some suggestions of materials are:

a. small boxes

b. bags

c. spools

d. straw

e. anything shiny

f. yarn string

g. paper cups

h. hair rollers

i. plastic spoons

j. “bait”

k. Pieces of wood

l. Cardboard

m. Four leaf clovers

n. Rainbows

2. Design the trap. Sketch out your plan. Decide how to attract a leprechaun and eventually catch him! Be clever, smart and tricky!

3. Build the trap. Use nails, glue or string to make your trap “leprechaun tight.”

Don’t make it too big – remember you’re catching a leprechaun – not a giant!

4. Write a direction sheet (like you would find in a game) to tell people how your trap works. Include the two simple machines you used.
5. Bring your trap to school on March 14th!

Hint: Leprechauns are tricky fellows – they like shiny things, things that glitter. They are also naughty and often disobey signs.

Good Luck!

Mrs. Anderson

Below is the rubric for this project. This is how I will be grading this project.


Has something to attract a leprechaun.

Has two small machines.

Is neatly done.

All words in the write up and any on project are spelled correctly and


The write up very clearly shows how the trap works.


Has something to attract a leprechaun.

Has two small machines.

Is neatly done.

Has no more than one mistake in writing on project or write up.

The write up shows how the trap works.


Has something to attract a leprechaun and/or one moving part.

Is neatly done.

Has a few mistakes in writing on project and/or write up.

The write up isn't very clear about how the trap works.

Has something to attract a leprechaun or one moving part.

Has some mistakes in writing on project and/or write up.

It's confusing how the trap works.

Examples of Simple Machines

Pulley: a simple machine that uses a wheel and a rope to help lift heavy or awkward item. Flag poles, clothes line, sail on a sailboat, blinds, and crane

Lever: a board or bar that rests on a turning point to help move heavy things.

See-saw, catapult, hammer, bottle openers

Wedge: a simple machine used to push two objects apart, can split things apart and meet to form a sharp edge. Fork, knives, nails, axes

Wheel: a simple machine that helps move things from place to place.

Cars, roller skates, wagons, door knobs, gears in watches, clocks, bikes

Inclined plane: a flat surface that is higher on one end, like a hill.

Ramp, slanted road, path up a hill, a slide

Screw: a simple machine that is used to hold objects together.

Jar lids, light bulbs, stools key rings, spiral staircase

***For more information on simple machines, feel free to look them up on these websites:

Edheads - Simple Machines Activities - Fun site to learn about and explore simple machines.

MIKIDS - Definitions, examples, and activities with simple machines.

Exploring Leonardo - A site from the Museum of Science with information about Leonardo and simple machines.  Check out the Inventor's Workshop.

Simple Machines, Work, Force, and Energy- A website featuring definitions, examples and the history of simple machines.

The Machine Detective - A fun site with animations.  It gives you the chance to explore the different types of simple machines.  It uses the full screen when you open it, but it will close if you click on the door in the bottom left of the page.

Simple Machine Construction Site - A good site to build your knowledge of simple machines.

Simple Machines and The Automaton - The Franklin Institute has information about the Automaton.  Find out what it is, and learn more about simple machines as well.

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