St Patrick’s Day is globally celebrated on March 17th. Traditionally meant to observe the death of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick, with religious services and feasts, today celebrates Irish culture with a host of festivities that seemingly showcase an abundance of neon green, shamrocks and dancing leprechauns.
Whether or not you can claim to have the ‘Luck o’the Irish’’, here are some fun ways you can celebrate St Patrick’s Day and inject some excitement into the TEFL classroom.
Ireland is a magical land with a rich history of enchanting mythological creatures and folklore. Spend time with your students reading these Irish folklore stories, creating their own fables, and roleplaying these fairy-tale beings.
Teach students brainstorming skills by creating 3 columns on the board/worksheet: can, am, have. Together or individually, students brainstorm ideas by completing the statement: I am lucky because I… Students fill in words and phrases in the 3 columns about why they are “lucky”. Doing so fosters mindfulness and appreciation for their abilities and objects in their lives.
Word Scramble Warmer
On a board, write scrambled St Patrick’s day themed words (such as YKLCU = LUCKY and ORLECV = CLOVER) for a fun warmer. Try setting a timer for students to write down the correct words, and the student or group of students who unscrambled the most are the winners.
Kindness is Golden
This activity is inspired by the story of a mischievous leprechaun who granted a poor farming couple a wish in exchange for his freedom. Disheartened by their greed, he promised their wishes would be granted if they could find his pot of gold hidden at the end of a rainbow, knowing they’d be searching forever. Prompt a discussion with students with these questions:
What do you treasure most in life?
What are dishonesty and greed?
What is kindness, and why is it like gold?
Encourage students to share experiences about how they’ve been beneficiaries of kind acts or role-play situations where kindness can solve the problem.
St Patty’s Pantomime
Play a few rollicking rounds of St Patrick’s Day charades by placing students in teams and keeping score.
Saint Patrick’s Pranks
Have some fun in the abroad classroom by decorating the space with unruly green streamers and paper footprints - evidence of a playful leprechaun! If teaching online, keep your students focused by wearing a green top hat and spice up your reward system with a collection of paper shamrocks, or move a delicate fairy or rosy-faced leprechaun down a colourful rainbow until it reaches the pot of gold at the end of the lesson.
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