Teaching children about Saint Patrick’s Day in the classroom can be integrated into nearly every subject matter. The rich cultural influence of Saint Patrick’s Day and the symbols associated with it make the holiday ideal and easy to teach across the curriculum.
1. Writing Journal Activity- Encourage students to write a fictional story about a leprechaun. If time is short, children can write poems about St. Patrick’s Day.
2. Word Play- Write the word “leprechaun” on the whiteboard. Give students paper and see how many three or more letter words they can create out of the letters in “leprechaun”.
3. History- Divide children into groups and let them use the computer or library to research information on Ireland and its people. One group can be in charge of researching Irish food, another group can learn about Irish schools, and a group can learn about government in Ireland. Each group can create a poster and present what the students learned to the class.
4. Music- Music or gym class can be a wonderful opportunity to listen to Irish music and learn traditional Irish dances.
5. Math- Word problems provide an opportunity for student to practice organizing information, comprehending questions, and reading carefully. Create a word problem sheet that involves counting clovers or multiplying clover leaves. You can modify the problems for different level students if needed.
6. Art- Children can make pop-up cards for St. Patrick’s Day. Provide students with four leaf clover construction paper pictures or small leprechaun cut-outs that can be glued to the pop-out section of each card.
7. Logic Practice- This activity can be used as an introduction to teach mystery stories or on its own to teach the process of elimination. Hide a small pot filled with chocolate gold covered coins in the room. Have students ask questions to determine the location of the pot. Keep a chart tracking the clues until the children can figure out where the gold is located.
8. Science- Teach students about four leaf clovers. Then give children magnifying glasses so they can look at clovers carefully and try to find one outside. When children re-enter the classroom, show them pictures of four leaf clovers and let them make one out of construction paper. Alternately, if the weather is too cold to go outside, show children different pictures of clovers from books and generate a class discussion.
9. Cultural Diversity-If you are Irish or have students who are Irish, they can share some cultural traditions that may be new to other children. Some children may have visited Ireland and may be able to share photographs.
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