St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Busy Teachers!
It’s that time of year again, St. Patrick’s Day! The one time of year where people across the world celebrate St. Patrick and the Irish culture. I have many great memories of St. Patrick’s Day as a child; however as a teacher, it’s a different story. You see, it’s probably the busiest time of year for a teacher. We are scrambling to get curriculum standards taught before the end of the year student, while trying to still teach the fun stuff!
Although I personally love St. Patrick’s Day (I’m Irish after all), as a teacher I am so busy juggling my many other teaching responsibilities that I felt like it was just one more thing to squeeze in to my teaching day! During my first few years of teaching, I started with the tissue paper shamrocks (hoping to cover some Art curriculum standards). Boy was that a mess and my classroom smelled like glue for a week! I then moved to researching and writing a newspaper article about the life of St. Patrick. Yes, I was covering some writing curriculum standards but I realized quickly that my students were not as engaged as I wanted them to be with this lesson. I knew it was time that I needed to come up with a lesson that was fun, low prep for the busy time of year I was facing and covered curriculum standards. I wanted a high interest and a quick ‘go to’ lesson that could be re-used every year!
Knowing my students love a fun contest, I decided that they would learn about St. Patrick and Irish history by embarking on an Amazing Race! My students are highly engaged during this activity and have a lot of fun learning about why we celebrate St. Patrick’s day around the world!
In teams, students race around Ireland figuring out clues about Irish landmarks, myths and interesting facts. In order to move on in the race, they need to write a paragraph about each location using specific success criteria. As you can imagine, they are super motivated to produce their best writing ever! Everyone wants to be the winners of the race! Students can compete in an Amazing Race Discovering Ireland’s Magical History or a race to explore History of St. Patrick the saint.
If you’d like to try both Amazing Races with your students, I’ve included a link here!