Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ok, so I’m two days early, but this gives you time to prep your lessons, right?

Here are some of my favorite teaching ideas for St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is a super fun, easy holiday to celebrate in the classroom. It brings multiculturalism, color study (green, white, and orange), folklore (hello, leprechauns!), nature (four leaf clovers galore), and the opportunity to be creative across the curriculum!

Bust Out the Irish Centers

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 7.00.59 PMCenters used to just be for the little kids, but now teachers are using them across almost every grade and subject. St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to use station rotations or task cards. And I’ve created a reading and math combo pack based around St. Patrick’s Day!

The reading passages are simple and easy to understand, but the questions ask students to dig a little bit deeper. The fiction passage requires students to do a LOT of inferring. The nonfiction passage has lots of literal questions, a deeper thinking question, and a math problem thrown in for good measure.

On the 16 math task cards, your students will go on a road trip through Ireland and Northern Ireland. Along the way, they will calculate mileage, speed, work with money, and determine the age of Irish landmarks.

These cards lend themselves to deeper exploration of the topic, since everything included is a REAL place or thing. So, bust out a big road map of Ireland and follow our actual journey. Then search online for information about each place.

Color Code Your School!

Orange, white, and green dominate this holiday, and it makes teaching with colors a breeze!

For the very little, make a scavenger hunt to find any many things in the room that are orange, white, or green. You could even make teams, with one color per team. The teams can compete to see which color appears most often in the classroom/outside/in the school.

Expand this for older kids by graphing! Each team can tally how many place they found their color. Complicate this by searching in more than one place: cafeteria, hallway, classroom, main office, playground, media center, etc. Next, create a color coordinated graph or series of graphs showing the breakdown.

Or Just Color

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 3.56.32 PMOr skip all of the actual academic work (kind of) and just color.

One way to incorporate artwork into your day if through reading response. Read St. Patrick’s Day story, and then ask the kids to illustrate their favorite scene, draw their favorite character, or design a new cover for the book.

Another fun way to color during the school day is with color coded math sheets. You can find these all over the place, or you can make your own. The kids get practice with their facts, and they get to color something. Win, win!

Lucky Clovers

This is one of my students’ favorite activities: shape-based sentence starters. Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, this time around we are using shamrocks and clovers. Using pre-made shapes, give your students a sentence starter.

I use: I am lucky because…

Then, the students have to fill in the blank. I try to tie these shape based sentences to our grammar lessons. For this one, my rule is that everyone must use an adjective. For example: I am lucky because of my superb family.

Read All About It!

Ireland is a land rich in history and legends. This month is the perfect time to read about all of it!

GoodReads, as always, has amazing lists of books for all occasions. Some of my favorites are: Saint Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting and Leprechauns and Irish Folklore (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #21) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce. The Magic Tree House Fact Tracker goes along with Magic Tree House #43, Leprechaun in Late Winter. If you read them both back-to-back, that might be a fun way to keep the magic going a little bit longer.

Dance a Little Bit

Ireland has music made for dancing! The thumping beats, lilting flutes, and bagpipes makes my toes tap.

Every classroom is working with brain breaks (or should be!), and this is a perfect opportunity to get the wiggles out AND explore the sounds of a different culture.

One of my very favorite music/dance shows is Riverdance, a showcase of Irish music and dancing.

Other favorites include The Chieftains and the Clancy Brothers.

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the classroom?

~Meg

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