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Making St. Patrick's Day Fun in the Classroom

This time of year, there aren't a lot of fun holidays (especially after the excitement of Hanukkah and Christmas) available for teachers to spice up their lesson plans. With the few holidays there are this time of year, teachers must make the most of them. Here are a few options open to teachers to create fun and interactive lesson plans for St. Patrick's Day.

Lesson Idea's for St. Patrick's Day

Most importantly, you want to explain to the kids what St. Patrick's Day is all about. That it's not only a holiday for wearing green and talking about leprechauns.

[St. Patrick's Day is] a cultural and religious celebration occurring annually on the 17th of March, the death date of the most commonly recognised patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick.

Once the history of the day has been well established, you can incorporate fun games or art projects for the class to do. Some ideas of fun projects are listed below.

  • Shamrock poetry. Collect some different poems from various Irish poets. Hand them out to the class and have them write the poem they like best on a shamrock they've created from green paper, tissue paper or any other art supplies you have on hand that fit the theme. If you wish to practice public speaking, you can then have the kids read their poem choices out loud.
  • Painting with Karo Syrup. This is a fun idea for smaller kids. You can put Karo syrup into styrofoam cups and then add food coloring to the syrup for different color choices. Then the kids can paint shamrocks or leprechaun's on green paper. They can even create a rainbow to the pot of gold! When the syrup dries, it creates a shiny effect that makes it really colorful. Not to mention, it's super messy and kids do love to make a mess!
  • Create travel brochures! For a history class, you can have the kids create travel brochures for Ireland that explain why their country is so wonderful and why people should travel to it. It is a wonderful way to get the kids really learning about a culture and what makes it so special.
  • Scavenger hunt. These are always lots of fun and if you can, make it a big event with the kids going outside (if possible). Create fun little clues that incorporate lessons they have learned in previous weeks about the Irish culture along with fun facts about leprechaun's. Have the "pot of gold" be gold wrapped candies, school supplies, etc.

There is really no end to the fun ideas you can come up with as a teacher on St. Patrick's Day. All you need is some green items, some fun ideas and a classroom willing to play along. Enjoy the day!

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photo credit: Wk 11/52 - St. Patrick's Day - (license)

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