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This St. Patrick’s Day lesson is an amalgam of other lesson ideas found on this site
2, 3, 4
Title – St. Patrick’s Day Activities
By – Connie Ordway
Primary Subject – Art
Grade Level – 2-4
Most of this is not my own creation — I have put this amalgam together from four or five different St. Paddy’s day activities I found on this page, and created an hour’s activity I thought my fourth graders would enjoy. My thanks to the original authors, whom you can find elsewhere on the Lesson Plans Page.
Instructions: Tell students that this is a listening exercise, and they will need to listen carefully because they have to answer questions at the end.
“Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. A patron saint takes special care of a country or group. Saint Patrick was a caring person. He taught many of the people of Ireland to read and write. Saint Patrick was born in the year 385 and died on March 17th around the year 460, over 1,500 years ago. Now, March 17th is the day Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated.
People march in parades and marching bands play Irish songs. Corned beef and cabbage is a favorite meal on Saint Patrick’s Day. Many people wear green on this day. Green is an Irish color for a few reasons. The first is because the green shamrock leaf is a symbol of Saint Patrick and Ireland. The Irish say a shamrock brings good luck. The second reason is because Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle” with lots of green pastures. The third reason is that the people of Ireland would burn green leaves to spread over their land to make their soil richer.
There are legends that go along with Saint Patrick’s Day. A popular legend is about the leprechaun. Leprechauns are tiny people dressed in green and they collect pots of gold. The legend says that if you catch a leprechaun, he will lead you to his pot of gold.
Saint Patrick’s Day is now celebrated all over the world. Some people sing songs and dance to celebrate. The Irish dance is called the “jig.” A popular song is “The Wearin’ of the Green.” The Irish are very thankful on this day because Saint Patrick taught them to read and write. The Irish can read and write today because generations passed their knowledge on to other generations.”
Have students number papers from 1-10, and write an answer after each question. Then self-correct the sheets, and go on to the art activity.
1. True or False: St. Patrick lived about a hundred years ago. (False.)
2. A patron saint takes special care of a what? (Country or group)
3. Why do we celebrate St Patrick’s Day on March 17th? (It was the day he died)
4. True or False: A favorite St. Patrick’s Day meal is lasagna. (False)
5. I listed three reasons why green is an “Irish color.” Name one. [(1) The green shamrock leaf is a symbol of Saint Patrick and Ireland (2) Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle” (3) Irish burned green leaves to spread over their land]
6. True or False: The Irish believe shamrocks bring good luck. (True)
7. If you catch a leprechaun, what will he lead you to? (His pot of gold)
8. What is an Irish dance called? (A jig)
9. The Irish are thankful for St. Patrick because he taught them to ____. (Read and write)
10. Was St. Patrick a real person, or a legend? (A real person)
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields, and, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
— Traditional Gaelic blessing
- The Gaelic blessing above, written out for the children to see,
- 9 x 12 sheets of green construction paper (one for each student),
- precut green stems to attach to the shamrocks of step 4 (one for each group of 3 students),
- glitter glue
- scissors, and
- regular glue.
1. Read the blessing and discuss what each blessing means.
2. Have each student cut a heart out of green construction paper by folding a 9×12 paper in half and cutting on the fold into a half of a heart.
3. Open the heart and write a blessing on the surface.
4. Have each student glue their hearts to two other students’ hearts in a shamrock shape and add a stem with a word that best describes the St. Patrick’s Day events, symbols, or traditions. Explain that in joining together each heart they have continued the tradition of furthering the love St. Patrick had for his people.
5. If you have glitter glue, have students outline their shamrock shapes with it.
6. When dry, hang in the classroom to be admired.
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