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September 21, 2022

You’re in LUCK!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrating & Learning

149 million people.

That’s how many celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in 2018 according to statistics from CNN.

If wearing green, instigating shenanigans and being Irish for the day means St. Patrick’s Day to you, you are not alone.

For those of us surviving living in the Bold North, St. Patrick’s Day becomes our beacon of hope. The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day means we are halfway through March and that much closer to spring.

Celebrations enrich our lives. They spark joy, teach gratitude, and can be used to create a sense of community in our classrooms.

In this short (and sweet) video, we get a glimpse of how Ms. Laurance creates a sense of community with her students:

Tch Video 3.17.19

In addition, this blog explains four strategies teachers can enlist to ensure a sense of community is established for students:

  1. Having Morning Meetings
  2. Establishing rules together
  3. Greeting each student as they enter the room
  4. Focusing on relationships from day one

Although these four strategies are right on the mark, we would like to suggest a fifth strategy for the list: Celebrations!

There are many opportunities for classroom celebrations, but, with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, we think celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is a good place to start. Here are some Luck-o’-the Irish ideas you can use to teach and learn about Ireland, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:

Ask your students to….

  • Find Ireland on the map. Then, learn about the heritage, customs, geography, industry, and population of Ireland in this video:
  • Study the great potato famine.
  • Explore the long history of rivalry between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • Learn about the many quotes, myths and folklore surrounding Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day such as “The luck o’ the Irish,” the often quoted Irish Blessing, leprechauns, and pots-o-gold at the end of rainbows. Where do these come from, and how did these myths and tales get their start?
  • Discover who St. Patrick is, and how green became the color of St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Study the Chicago River, including when, how, and who is in charge of turning it green. How much dye does it take to turn the river green? How is the dye made? Is the dye safe for wildlife and humans? Where does the dye go? How long does it take for the dye to dissipate and the river to return to its natural state? How does the weather (temperature, humidity, etc.) affect the process?

Explore Ireland with a virtual field trip:

Teach through books and film:

Books:

  • The Gold at the End of the Rainbow written by Wolfram Hanel
  • Leprechauns Gold written by Teresa Bateman
  • The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day by Patricia A. Pingry
  • The Leprechaun’s Gold by Henry Cole
  • That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting
  • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • May the Road Rise Up to Meet You by Peter Troy
  • The Green Road by Anne Enright
  • Redemption Falls by Joseph O’Connor
  • Ireland by Frank Delaney

Films:

  • The Titanic–the ship departed from Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland on its fateful voyage to the United States
  • Brooklyn–the story of a young woman who emigrated from Ireland to Brooklyn, New York
  • Waking Ned Devine–the comical tale of a man who wins the lottery in Ireland
  • My Left Foot–the tale of man with a disability who learns to paint

Inspire creative writing and storytelling using grabber leads:

  • …She had only one suitcase, one book, and a thousand dreams as she left her Dublin home headed for the United States…
  • …He was intrigued by her accent…
  • …As the Titanic left Ireland and set sail across the frigid, mighty Atlantic…
  • …After tilling the soil in the lush, green fields of Irel:and, it was time for him to…

Encourage creativity and discovery through art and science:

St. Patrick's Day craft

St. Patrick's Day craft 2

St. Patrick’s Day science experiments from Little Bins for Little Hands!

Finally…it is not a true celebration without delicious and fun St. Patrick’s Day treats! Download some delicious suggestions below:

lime sherbet floats

A sense of classroom community is created through morning meetings, establishing rules as a group, greeting students as they enter the classroom, focusing on relationships from the first day of school, and…through taking the time to celebrate together.

Classroom celebrations teach gratitude, spark joy, and encourage creativity (and even give students permission to be a little silly).

Celebrations enrich our lives.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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