If trying to develop lesson plans to incorporate St. Patrick's
Day themes into your classroom seems as elusive as catching the
little green guy, here are some helpful ideas to get you started.
1. A look at the patron saint
St. Patrick's Day was not always about wearing green shamrocks and decorating
with leprechauns. Have students take a look at St. Patrick himself
and the myths and history surrounding what he did for Ireland.
2. Make your own shamrocks
Younger students will enjoy painting or cutting and pasting to create their
own shamrocks. You can also look into the symbolism of the shamrock
or discuss why some people think that four-leafed clovers are
3. Money, money, money
It is rumored that if you follow a rainbow to its end, you will find a pot
of gold guarded by a leprechaun. Have students write a story about
what they would do if they were the ones that found the pot of
gold, or what they would do if they were the leprechaun guarding
it. Younger students can be encouraged to illustrate their works,
while older students can be encouraged to use spelling words or
4. Green graphs
Have students develop a list of green items that people might have. Is someone
wearing a green shirt or pants? Does someone have green eyes?
Do their parents drive a green car? You can then graph out the
frequency of green items. Or, bring out a box of Lucky Charms
cereal and have the kids graph out the different marshmallows
that they find.
5. Do you wear green?
Students of different backgrounds may celebrate St. Patrick's Day differently
in their family. For instance, their mom might make green eggs
and ham for breakfast; they might eat cabbage for dinner, go to
the St. Patrick's Day parade, or receive a pinch if they are not
wearing green. Have students compare the different traditions
or see how many different ideas they can come up with for celebrating
6. Irish blessings
The shamrock was originally a sign of happiness and good luck. Have students
make their own shamrocks, writing an Irish blessing on each one.
Or, if you are teaching poetry, you can use the leaves to write
your own limericks.
7. Grow your own luck
If you start early enough in March, you can plant your own shamrocks. Have
students plant several shamrock seeds in a cup with dirt. You
can also decorate pots with St. Patrick's Day themes to plant
the shamrocks in at a later period of time. Children can take
care of the growing seedlings, and even look to see if they grow
any of their own four-leafed clovers once the plants mature.
8. Write a leprechaun letter
Younger children will get a thrill if they find that their classroom has been
turned topsy-turvy by late night leprechauns. You can have them
practice their letter writing skills by writing letters to the
troublemakers. This can continue through the whole week if the
"leprechauns" write back, and you can get creative with the types
of stunts that they pull.
9. Leprechauns in literature
Take a trip to the library or allow students to use the internet to see how
leprechauns were portrayed in literature throughout the ages.
What do leprechauns really look like? Are they considered good
or bad luck? You can also look for St. Patrick's Day books to
read and discuss as a class.
10. Magic green flowers
This is a good way to discuss how plants grow and absorb nutrients. Get enough
white carnations so that each student has one, and put it in a
vase with green food coloring added to the water. Students can
write about what they think will happen or record the results.
This may also be done with other colors, or by splitting stems
into separate cups to see what happens.
St. Patrick's Day is a unique holiday steeped in tradition. With some creative
activities, you can take students beyond wearing green to some