4 Free St. Patrick’s Day Resources to Help Students Celebrate in the K-4 Classroom
You don’t have to be Irish to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day. It does help, however, to know what the celebration’s all about on March 17, when not wearing something green can get you pinched by rivals. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, we’re celebrating the shamrock by highlighting some reading and writing activities that are appropriate for elementary school students.
Those who think St. Patrick’s Day is all about the Irish might be surprised to learn that the venerated holiday is actually named after a British priest. But more about “Paddy” later….
Right now, let’s focus on what teachers can do to make the most of this lucky holiday through some fun, free activities.
Lucky charms and rainbows, too
Nancy Vandenberge is an elementary school teacher who creates “hands-on learning experiences” on First Grade W.O.W. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, her mini-unit focuses on rainbows, with a song to the tune of “B-I-N-G-O,” writing prompts about living under a rainbow and three wishes. Vandenberge, who’s been teaching for nearly 30 years, also offers a math lesson involving Lucky Charms cereal and (spoiler alert) separating the oats from the marshmallows.
Legends of lucky leprechauns
Rachel Lynnette suggests 20 St. Patrick’s Day writing prompts aimed at grades two through six. The activities that appear on her site, Minds in Bloom, are designed to promote creative and critical thinking. They range from drawing a clover and writing about why each leaf brings good luck, to developing breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring all green foods, to writing a persuasive essay that’ll “convince people to give gifts on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Magnificent treasure word hunt
Erica Bohrer is a first-grade teacher who posts weekly plans on Ed Ventures that incorporate free activities for fellow educators. In honor of March 17, Bohrer directs students to use a magnifying glass and search for small St. Patrick’s Day theme words. After they find all the words, the students’ task is to write sentences or a story using those words. The Magnify St. Patrick’s Day word exercise is just one of many literacy center projects Bohrer offers for free.
Shamrocks and pots of gold
The bloggers at Playdough to Plato have compiled their favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities for children ages 3 to 8. The activities cover literacy, math and science. For March 17, they offer 25 favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids, with a wish for teachers that “your little leprechauns” will love them. The free literacy activities begin with a four-leaf clover containing letters that entice students to practice making words and writing stories.
And so the story continues: 1-minute history of St. Patrick’s Day
Legend has it, the Feast of St. Patrick is derived from a well-to-do British lad who lived during the fifth century and whose grandfather had become a priest.
At the age of 16, Maewyn Succat – St. Patrick’s lesser-known birth name – was reportedly kidnapped by Irish marauders and subsequently subjugated to field work in Ireland. After spending the better part of a decade as a shepherd, he eventually found his way back to Britain, became a priest and dedicated his life to Christianity. The story was passed on through generations. Patrick got sainted and the three-leaf shamrock was used as an early visual learning aid to explain the holy trinity.
In the late 1700s, American immigrants began celebrating the legend of St. Patrick in the colonies.
The rest, so they say, is green history.Learn More: Click to view related resources.