Top of the mornin’ to you! Instead of throwing Irish clichés like that at your students come March 17, how about trying some other ways of incorporating the luck of the Irish into your classroom? If you’re looking for a festive math, science, history, or English lesson, consider some of the these St. Patrick’s Day activities, games, crafts, and lessons.
1. Make a leprechaun corner bookmark.
While there’s something to be said for well-worn spines and dog-eared corners, teach your students to care for their books by using a bookmark to save their place. This little leprechaun is the perfect reading companion and is quite simple to make thanks to this awesome video tutorial. Read stories about leprechauns or play traditional Irish music while your students craft.
2. Fill your classroom with bearded leprechauns.
Create a classroom of jolly wee Irish people with this leprechaun paper plate mask. This project requires a few basic crafting materials, and if you use smocks and table covers, it won’t take long to clean up afterward. When the masks dry, gather your little leprechauns for a class picture.
Also, have your students discover their leprechaun names from this leprechaun name generator.
SOURCE: simply today life
3. Send your students on a scavenger hunt.
Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like a hunt for gold. Get your students up and about with this free printable scavenger hunt. You can time the hunt, create groups, or even conduct the activity outdoors. To extend the activity, you might have your students decorate old tissue boxes as treasure chests in which they can store their findings.
4. Uncover history with interactive worksheets and quizzes.
St. Patrick’s Day is so much more than rainbows and shamrocks (although we can’t say we don’t love those, too), and your students will love learning about this holiday’s Irish roots as they complete fill-in-the-blank exercises, word searches, and coloring pages. Consider distributing acrostic poems with words like “leprechaun,” “shamrock,” and “St. Patrick” for your students to complete.
SOURCE: Awe-Filled Homemaker
5. Conduct a hands-on experiment with green slime.
A complex chemistry lesson disguised as an ooey, gooey free-for-all? Count us in! Choose from one of four slime recipes, all of which call for ingredients that can easily be found at your grocery store (although you may need to look elsewhere for St. Patty’s Day–appropriate glitter, sequins, and other holiday additions). Teach your students about the states of matter as they work or ask them to record their impressions and observations of this festive lab experiment.
SOURCE: Little Bins for Little Hands
6. Study the movement of water molecules with the rainbow ring experiment.
Demonstrate the movement of water molecules through this clean yet colorful experiment. Ask your students to come up with a hypothesis and record the experimentation process in a notebook or on one of this site’s free, printable worksheets. You can continue the discussion of water and rainbows by explaining the natural process that creates the rainbows we often see after rain showers.
SOURCE: Creating Readers and Writers
7. Make rainbows in your classroom—no rain required.
Begin the lesson by explaining to your students how rainbows are made—this blog suggests reading The Rainbow and You. With a prism (or even a glass of water), sunlight, and the right angle, create rainbows on the floor, walls, and ceiling of your classroom. Adjust the amount of light and angles to vary the width and size of the rainbows. Have your students record their observations or draw pictures of the rainbows they’ve created.
SOURCE: Mom to 2 Posh Little Divas
8. Count your coins with a penny float experiment.
You don’t need gold coins to bring a little magic into science class—ordinary pennies will do! Using small plastic pots from your favorite craft store (plastic cups or aluminum foil will also do the trick), a container of water, and a couple of dollars in pennies, your students can learn about mass, volume, weight, and other measurements while feeling like leprechauns.
SOURCE: Little Bins for Little Hands
9. Spin Irish yarns with these story starters.
Inspire your students to think creatively and write a story about what they would do if they found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Encourage them to think about the characters, conflict, and resolution in their tales. Either paste the story on cauldron cut-outs, as this blog suggests, or use Word to create a simple lined page with a festive border. See a thorough lesson plan here.
SOURCE: apples & abc’s
10. Think critically about how to catch a leprechaun.
Critical thinking? Check. Creativity? Check. Glitter? Check. Ask your students to devise a clever plan to catch a leprechaun by practicing sequence writing and the imperative voice. What materials do they need? What would their trap look like? Have them present their ideas to the class and follow up with a class discussion about the best leprechaun-trapping tactics. Take this one step further by splitting your class into groups of three or four students and have them build the traps they imagined.
11. Shade shamrocks to practice synonyms, antonyms, and homophones.
In English class the answers are rarely black-and-white, so why not make them green (and red and orange)? Teach your students about synonyms, antonyms, and homophones with this shading shamrock worksheet. Alternatively, prepare shamrock cutouts and have your students write words on one side of the shamrock with the accompanying synonym, antonym, or homophone on the other.
SOURCE: Everything Education
12. Go green by turning old milk jugs into planters.
You don’t need to sport a top hat and coat to go green this St. Patrick’s Day. Teach your students the importance of conservation and recycling by having them plant herbs or flowers in old plastic milk jugs. If possible, do this project outside to celebrate the warmer weather and ask your students what plants need to grow and remain healthy. Encourage them to make a list of small actions they can do every day to protect the planet.
SOURCE: Cupcakes & Cutlery
13. Count your gold on math worksheets.
You don’t have to stray too far from your usual curriculum in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. These upper-elementary math worksheets cover third- through fifth-grade-level core math concepts, such as multiplication and division, fractions, and whole number operations—all while centered on the theme of St. Patrick’s Day.
SOURCE: Kelly McCown
14. Make a Lucky Charms bar graph.
With this easy-to-prep activity, your students can practice counting and graphing while enjoying a sweet treat. For a class of 15–20 students, two boxes of Lucky Charms cereal will do, along with a measuring cup, crayons, and a simple graph. Have your students count and record the number of marshmallows they find. Then have them share with the class how many of each marshmallow they found. You can also easily turn this activity into a lesson on fractions or probability.
SOURCE: How to Homeschool My Child
15. Look for luck with a four-leaf clover hunt.
What better excuse to get outside on an almost-spring day than going on a four-leaf-clover hunt? If you’ve got a grassy area by your school’s playground, take your students outside to first assemble this tiny book of clover facts before searching for one of their own.
SOURCE: Green Grubs Garden Club
16. Work your poetry chops by writing limericks.
There once was a grade-school teacher / Who sought a fun lesson to feature … Okay, I’ll stop there, but you certainly shouldn’t. Print these simple limerick instructions and have your students write their own and then present them to the class. This activity is great for upper elementary school and middle school students, alike.
17. Learn an Irish step dance.
I can’t be the only one who feels the urge to break into an Irish jig on March 17. Show your students a video clip or two of professional Irish step dancers before breaking down the steps with an easy-to-follow tutorial. This is a great activity for gym class or any time you notice your students getting a bit restless. The steps may be complicated, but your students will enjoy being on their feet and listening to traditional Irish music.
SOURCE: Fresh Plans
We promise you’ll have good luck with any one of these St. Patrick’s Day activities. Have any others you’d like to share? Visit our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook to share your ideas.